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Petition filed against 2019 repatriation of 2 North Korean fishermen

All News 11:34 July 18, 2022

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- A member of the Seoul city council filed a petition Monday asking the state rights watchdog to get to the bottom of the previous administration's 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fishermen against their will.

Lee Jong-bae, a ruling People Power Party-affiliated member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, denounced the repatriation as human rights violations as he filed the petition with the National Human Rights Commission.

In November 2019, the North Koreans were captured near the sea border in the East Sea. They confessed to killing 16 fellow crew members and expressed a desire to defect to South Korea, but the then Moon government deemed their intentions to be insincere and sent them back to the North.

"The forced repatriation constitutes illegal deprivation of life and violations of personal liberty, including the rights to be considered innocent and stand trial," Lee said, calling for a thorough investigation.

In 2020, a lawyers' group, Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea, filed a similar petition against the repatriation, but the rights watchdog dismissed the case, citing "limits" in looking into the incident.

The lawyers' group filed an administrative lawsuit against the decision, and the case is now pending at the Seoul High Court after the state commission appealed a court decision in March to take back the dismissal.

Youtube

https://youtu.be/Ch8Af6jwgj8

Lee Jong-bae, a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, files a petition against the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fishermen with the National Human Rights Commission on July 18, 2022. (Yonhap)

Lee Jong-bae, a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, files a petition against the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fishermen with the National Human Rights Commission on July 18, 2022. (Yonhap)

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