“As academics, practitioners, and representatives of civil society groups, and as members of a Global Congress convened to assert the public interest with respect to intellectual property, we are deeply saddened to hear of the mistreatment of our colleagues at the hands of police at the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.
“It is our understanding that Korean police have arrested and beaten people living with HIV and treatment advocates peacefully demonstrating against intellectual property provisions in free trade agreements that threaten global access to lifesaving medicines. We understand that in some cases police abuses have led to hospitalization and potentially serious injury. We are outraged by this invasion of the right to free speech, and by the application of state violence in defense of commercial right holder interests as a means to arrest civil disobedience.
“We second the call of treatment advocacy groups for an apology from the government of South Korea. We express our admiration for our colleagues, people living with HIV, treatment advocates and others standing up for the public interest and access to medicines at ICAAP.”
Sunil Babu Pant
Member of Parliament, Nepal
German Green Party
Stephanie Rosenberg, M.A.
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales,
American University Law School
Chloé S. Georas
UPR School of Law
Institute for Information Law
American University Law School
American University Law School
Monica Guise Rosina
Escola de Direito de São Paulo
Center for Health, Human RIghts and Development
University of College Cork
Knowledge Ecology International
Grupo de Incentivo a Vida – GIV
University of Glasgow
Juan Pablo Alperin
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
Dalhousie University School of Law
Koichi Kameda Carvalho
Fundação Getulio Vargas
Khadijah M. Britton
Open Science Alliance
Positive Women Incorporated
Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT)
Caroline B Ncube
University of Cape Town
Fernando dos Santos
Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mocambique
MPI for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich
Cambodian People Living with HIV/AIDS Network (CPN+)
Frederic M. Alone
ASF/PSI Kinshasa DRC
Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV (APN+)
Luz Marina Umbasia Bernal
University of São Paulo
APN+ Advisor, Australia
To sign the statement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reports from Korea:
One early report with a few photographs from Act Up Paris is here:
Report from APN+ // ITPC // AFAO // APNSW // ACT UP-Paris
ICAAP10 : Korean activists arrested and threatened with criminal action for peaceful protest; International activists roughed up by police and security
Civil Society condemn the use of force by korean security on peaceful demonstrators
Busan – South Korea – Press Statement – Saturday 27th August 2011- For immediate release -
Police beat and arrested South Korean activists, among them people living with HIV/AIDS, during a PEACEFUL march at the ICAAP in Busan. The march was organised to protest against Free Trade Agreements being negotiated across the Asia Pacific region. International and Korean activists were jointly marching through the Conference Convention
Center. Even though the protest was not disrupting any activities of ICAAP, plainclothed government security staff considered the activists as a threat and arrested them.
Some of the activists were badly hurt while stopping the police arresting their colleagues.
At least three activists have been hospitalised and according to reports, the police have shown up at the hospital and threatened them with criminal charges. A woman activist, a lawyer working on human rights was taken away by force in a police car despite the best efforts of activists to prevent the arrest. Repeated questions as to why the activists were being arrested went unanswered.
After her release, Suh Yeon Chang, a lawyer working with the Korean Public Interest Lawyers Group GON G-GAM, stated that the police did not inform her of the reason for the arrest, which is illegal according to the South Korean criminal law. Even after reaching the police station, Chang says, the police were unable to inform her of the reason for the arrest. Nor was any legal form about the arrest from the scene made available, another requirement of Korean criminal law. Korean activists noted that this was unfortunately standard practice.
Activists from Asia-Pacific region were marching peacefully through the ICAAP to register their protest against FTAs being negotiated across the region with the European Union and the United States. The FTAs threaten access to generic ARVs and other essential medicines through their demands for increased intellectual property protection. South Korea has signed an FTA with the EU and the US. The US-Korea FTA is yet to be ratified by the South Korean Parliament and activists were hoping to highlight the dangers of the FTA to access to medicines through their march.
APN+, ITPC, APNSW, AFAO and ACT UP-Paris express their shock and outrage at the Korean police and security guards’ actions and strongly condemn the arrests and the beating of the activists that ultimately resulted in the hospitalisation of three people. They demand an unconditional apology from the South Korean Government, the South
Korean Police and the conference security guards and concrete assurance that South Korean activists will face no further harassment for peaceful protests.
International activists are also extremely concerned about the fate of their Korean colleagues once the ICAAP conference is over. We call on UNAIDS and the Global Fund to take responsibility and follow up to ensure there is no further harassment or police action against South Korean activists.
Please find the pictures online
(http://www.actupparis.org/spip.php?article4629) and video link
that show how badly the Korean activists were treated by the Security and the Police.
Please contact us for high resolution pictures and videos.
APN+ : Shiba Phurailatpam / email@example.com / +66 866 000 738
ACT UP-PARIS : Pauline Londeix / pauline.londeix@gmail / +33 6 47 98 48 58