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Indybay Feature

Hands Off Korean Independent Journalist Jan Jin-young-Drop The Charges NOW!

korean_court.jpg
Date:
Friday, June 23, 2023
Time:
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Organizer/Author:
LaborNet
Location Details:
San Francisco Korean Consulate
3500 Clay St.
San Francisco

6/23/23 Global Solidarity Rally For Korean Freelance Journalist Jan Jin-young
Drop The Charges NOW!
Friday June 23, 2023 11:00 AM
San Francisco Korean Consulate
3500 Clay St/Laurel St.
San Francisco

The Korean Yoon government is prosecuting freelance journalist Jan Jin-young for not registering to report on the war in Ukraine. This reactionary legislation is part of the effort of the government shut down independent voices on the war in order to sanitize the reporting. There will be.a rally and press conference on Friday June 23, 2023 at the Korean Consulate to demand the dropping of the charges against Jan Jin-young and the freedom of all journalists to report without government restrictions.

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All

Endorsed by
LaborNet
WorkWeek
United Front For A Labor Party
For more information
info [at] ufclp.org

South Korea: Freelance journalist charged for coverage of Ukraine war - FIJ
https://www.ifj.org/fr/salle-de-presse/nouvelles/detail/category/communiques-de-presse/article/korea-freelance-journalist-charged-for-coverage-of-ukraine-war
16 June 2023
South Korea: Freelance journalist charged for coverage of Ukraine war

Freelance photojournalist Jang Jin-young is facing criminal charges for covering the war in Ukraine without permission from the South Korean government, with the People’s Coalition for Media Reform planning to appeal the charges in the nation’s Constitutional Court on June 23. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK), in supporting the appeal and urges the Korean government to quash the criminal charges against Jin-young.

The Republic of Korea's Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea. Credit: Jung Yeon-je / AFP
The government of the Republic of Korea charged Jang Jin-young under Article 17(1) of the Passport Act (Restriction on the Use of Passports) on April 14, 2022, which gives power to the government to “stop visiting or staying in a specific country or region only in countries where war has occurred”. On March 28, 2023, Jin-young was fined KRW 5 million (approx. EUR 3,500) for his coverage of the Ukraine war, where he reported without permission or designation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the beginning of the war in 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated a select number of journalists in a ‘permit system’ to travel to Ukraine for a limited number of days. Jin-young, a freelance photojournalist, flew to Poland on March 5, 2022, concerned that the limits would restrict the quality and quantity of news coverage on the conflict from Korean media. His work was since picked up by various local outlets including SisaIN and Workers.

Although Jin-young defied the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the legislation under the Passport Act, the People’s Coalition for Media Reform has found Article 17(1) of the Act, the law under which Jing-young was charged, violates Article 21(2) of the South Korean Constitution, which “bans any permit system for press or publication”. As a result, the Coalition will contest the charges and the fine in the Constitutional Court of South Korea.

The Passport Act came into effect in August 2007 and has since blockedreporters from engaging in coverage in conflict zones globally. Korean journalists are also banned from reporting without a government permit in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. The Republic of Korea is the only country in the world to have a ‘permit system’ for reporting in conflict areas.

The JAK said: “We empathise with the potential risks that Korea’s passport law poses to press freedom. We support and endorse the actions of the People’s Coalition for Media Reform and stand together with them.”

The IFJ said: “The use of the Passport Act, which allegedly violates the constitution of the Republic of Korea, has restricted local reporters’ right to travel to conflict areas to conduct their work, with South Korean citizens forced to rely on foreign coverage of war and conflict. The IFJ stands with the JAK in supporting the People’s Coalition for Media Reform and its appeal of Jin-young's unfound criminal charges.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj [at] ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram

CSOs and individuals in South Korea are currently leading a campaign to defend the rights of Korean photojournalist Jan Jin-young, who faces criminal charges for documenting the war in Ukraine without government permission, thus allegedly violating Article 17(1) of the Passport Act.

Jang Jin-young, a freelance photojournalist, has been criminally charged for covering the war in Ukraine without the government’s permission. Jang Jin-young flew to Poland on March 5 after learning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, and traveled to the frontline to cover the war and human suffering of the local people, as he did in 2019 while covering the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Eventually, South Korean media outlets such as and circulated Jang's photographs among South Korean readers. He was also able to participate in a photo exhibition called . Journalists shall never be criminally punished for their courageous act of documenting a warzone.

However, the South Korean government accused Jang Jin-young on April 14, 2022, of violating Article 17(1) Passport Act (Restriction on the Use of Passports, etc.), which stipulates that the government may "stop visiting or staying in a specific country or region only in countries where war has occurred," but exceptions are possible in the case of "coverage reports." Photographer Jang Jin-young was fined KRW 5 million on March 28, 2023, after an investigation by the police and the prosecutor’s office. However, the exception was not applied to Jang Jin-young for general overseas dispute coverage was conducted under a limited permit system. In other words, the law states that "the Minister of Foreign Affairs may allow the use of passports, visits, and stays for reporting purposes." Coverage and reporting are de facto under the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Article 17 of the Passport Act violates Article 21 (2) of the South Korean Constitution which bans any permit system for press or publication; it rather functions as the basis for operating a permit system for covering overseas conflicts. This is why CSOs and individuals in South Korea are going to file a request for the adjudication of the constitutionality of the Passport Act.
Individuals and organizations who want to join forces with photographer Jang Jin-young should send a message of solidarity by June 22nd (Thursday).
[How to join us]
1. Please put your name as a group that will join the press conference. (Google Form)
2. Send a letter of solidarity or message (email: pcmr [at] hanmail.net or Google Form)
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PfNDej50zSVUkwYqs3ruDVbeDo2t0lnnNHqyxH-_FxQ/viewform?edit_requested=true&fbclid=IwAR1JTPTmXozC9REmTOn9sKr9J-MPRO1YvbkshHUnBiO6sIm-Q3Ek9bO0WBQ

BWI CONDOLES DEATH OF SOUTH KOREAN UNIONIST, VOWS TO CONTINUE HIS FIGHT
https://www.facebook.com/BWIGlobalUnion/photos/a.410107449034669/6390840940961260/
The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) offers its deepest condolences to the family and comrades of Yang, a South Korean trade unionist who reportedly set himself on fire on 1 May, International Labour Day, to protest the government's harassment of trade unionists in the country. He later passed away from complications from his severe burns.

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson, who is in South Korea for a week of meetings with the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Union (KFCITU), the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), as well as with various allies and partners, expressed his condolences on Yang's death. "I was celebrating International Labour Day with our South Korean comrades when I heard the shocking news. We were all hoping for his quick recovery, but fate had other plans. It’s a sad day for the South Korean trade union movement," Yuson said.

BWI said that Yang was a victim of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's aggressive union busting. Yang's death, the global union hoped, would not be in vain.

Added to the calendar on Thu, Jun 22, 2023 9:44AM
§Korean Yoon Government War On Workers & Press
by LaborNet
korea_anti-labor_government.jpeg
The Korean Yoon government is not only attacking independent media but is attacking and arresting unionists in the country. Yoon has said he wants to "exterminate" left unions like the KCTU and legislation has been passed that allows companies to individually sue workers who go on strike or damages. Some trade union leaders have protested this law by suicide.
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