KCTU and its affiliate, MTU Condemn the Outrageous and Unlawful Deportation of MTU Leaders!

Yesterday May 15th, the South Korean Ministry of Justice and Immigration Authorities carried out the rushed and secretive deportation of MTU President Torna Limbu and Vice President Abdus Sabur. The deportation occurred at the same time as actions protesting the targeted arrests of the two MTU leaders 13 days before were taking place in Seoul, Cheongju, Daegu and Busan.

At roughly 2:00pm on 15 May officials from Seoul Immigration took President Torna and Vice President Sabur from their cells at Cheongju Foreigners Detention Center and transported them to Incheon Airport, where they arrived by 5:00pm and were made to board a plane with several immigration officers a few hours later. The two were deported from South Korea at roughly 9:30pm and arrived in their home countries the following afternoon after a layover in Bangkok during which they were confined at the airport detention center.

Unlawful and Rushed Deportation

Although we had know the Ministry of Justice would attempt to carry out the deportation at some point in the near future, we had not expected it on the 15th. At 11:00am that morning the South Korean National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had accepted MTU's appeal for a stay of detention, deciding that the detention was not to be carried out until the end of the NHRC investigation of the human rights violations associated with the targeted arrests. The NHRC had informed the Ministry of Justice of this decision verbally and was preparing formal notification that day, yet Immigration Authorities told MTU and lawyers they were unaware of the decision. Given that there was no urgent need to deport the two men on this day we can only but surmise that the Ministry of Justice and Immigration Authorities, having gotten wind of NHRC appeal, rushed to carry out the deportation before they had received formal notice.

The rushed and secretive deportation was also carried out before a Seoul administrative court made a ruling on an application for stay of detention submitted with MTU in conjunction with a lawsuit concerning the targeted arrests of the leaders. What is more, PresidentTorna and Vice President Sabur were only delivered the rejections of the objections to their detention and deportation filed when they were first imprisoned after they had arrived at the airport, in other words after the deportation was already underway. The notification of these rejections was only sent to the men's lawyer by fax at 7:00 that night.      

KCTU and its affiliate, MTU are enraged by the rushed and unlawful deportation of our President and Vice President. We are determined to use all means available to protest this act, and to raise a domestic and international voice condemning the labor and human rights abuses of the South Korean Government against migrant workers.

Please help by sending protest statements to the parties below:

Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea
Building 1, Gwacheon Government Complex,
Jungang-dong 1, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Republic of Korea
Fax: 82-2-2110-3079

Commissioner of Korean Immigration Service
Fax: 82-2-500-9059, 82-2-500-9128, 82-2-500-9026

Seoul Immigration Authorities
319-2 Beonji, Shinjung 6-dong,
Yangchin-gu, Seoul-si 158-076
Republic of Korea
FAX.02-2650-6295
Total 110

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