Status of Demonstrators Agreement (SODA)
|I understand that at present, of the hundreds of Korean demonstrators held by the Hong Kong police, all but 12 have now been released. For the dozen, the Hong Kong authorities are now making a decision what kind of legal procedures will be taken. |
Kyunghyang Sinmun appeals for a lenient treatment (sônch'ô) for those apprehended for unlawful demonstrating, noting that there's a big difference between Korea and Hong Kong in sentences for the acts committed. "We hope you will take this into consideration" (이 점도 고려해 주길 바란다).
Hankyoreh also seems to wish (same in Korean) that the demonstrators granted a diplomatic status of a sort:
[Korean government] should express regret to Hong Kong authorities and do all it can for a favorable resolution of their status. One would hope that Hong Kong officials, in turn, consider this a diplomatic issue and find a reasonable means to resolve situation without insisting on going entirely by their domestic laws.I hereby propose that Hankyoreh and Kyunghyang would start drafting a kind of a Status of Demonstrators Agreement (SODA) modelled on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between United States and Republic of Korea. The agreement would for example stipulate that breaches of law during demonstrations would be prosecuted according to the ROK laws, but otherwise the demonstrators would be under the jurisdiction of the hosting country. Now it's of course late to have such agreement made between ROK and Hong Kong, but perhaps the Korean government should propose "SODA" to be made for example with Finland, which will host the ASEM meeting in September 2006.
Oranckay proposes that the agreement might also be called SOFA (Status of Farmers Agreement), but my opinion is that covering only one occupation with such extraterritorial privileges is not just.
Voice of People tells how the human rights of the arrested demonstrators were violated:
A commentator to the article proposes the following measures for police facing demonstrators (sorry, no translation this time):
먼저 시위대에게 수고한다면서 먹을것도 주고 편의를 제공해 주어야 한다. 시위대가 때리면 때리는데로 맞아야 한다. 회담장으로 진격하겠다면 회담장까지 친절하게 안내해주어야 한다. 혹시라도 연행을 할려면 시위대들의 건강을 생각해서 2인1실.호텔에 모셔야한다. 감기라도 들면 중대한 인권침해이므로 난방에 특히 신경써야 한다.(Today I'm really in a reactionary mood.)
Update, Dec 20, 2005
I'm not quite sure how independent the judicial branch in Hong Kong is, but the Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-moon supposes it takes orders from the executive branch of the government. Ohmynews tells that Mr Ban has asked for leniency for the eleven arrested Koreans in a phone conversation with Rafael Hui, chief secretary for administration.
According to the foreign ministry official, Mr Ban stated that in case the eleven arrested Koreans are given heavy sentences (chungbôl), there is concern that it can become a burden for the mutual diplomatic relations. Mr Ban also asked the Hong Kong government to excercise leniency (sônch'ô) concerning the farmers' sensitivity towards the agriculture issue and their situation, and the mutual relations between Korea and Hong Kong.
Categories at del.icio.us/hunjang: Koreanpolitics ∙ media