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Opposition criticizes goverment's mulling pardon of protestors

Opposition criticizes goverment's mulling pardon of protestors

Posted November. 28, 2017 08:44,   

Updated November. 28, 2017 09:58

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The Liberty Korea Party (LKP) denounced the Moon Jae-in administration for considering granting a pardon to some protestors who took part in certain political rallies, saying that “code pardon” and “ideological pardon”ㅡgranting a pardon to people who share the same political viewsㅡ will meet with resistance. The Ministry of Justice sent an official notice on Wednesday to public prosecutors’ offices nationwide, ordering them to consider grating a special pardon to protestors who participated in five rallies, including rallies against the construction of Jeju naval base and the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

“Granting a special pardon to professional protestors is an act equivalent to incapacitating constitutionalism or governmental authority,” Liberty Party floor leader Chung Woo-taek said Monday at the party's supreme council meeting.

The opposition party is particularly keeping an eye on whether Lee Seok-ki of the dissolved Unified Progressive Party, Han Sang-kyun, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), and some pro-Roh lawmakers will be granted a pardon.

“We will not let this ideological pardon to proceed. If it becomes serious, we will propose a bill limiting president’s pardon power,” Liberty Korea Party spokesperson Chang Je-won said in a phone call interview.

“Releasing violent criminals does not help promote national integration, but rather hinders it,” said Rep. Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareun Party.

On the other hand, the leftist Minjung Party, which was organized in October mostly by the members of the dissolved Unified Progressive Party, called Lee Seok-ki and Han Sang-kyun “prisoners of conscience” and urged President Moon Jae-in to release them on a special pardon.

Minjung Party Chief Kim Chang-han said at the party meeting that the Moon administration will be a true “Candle Government” only if it releases all prisoners of conscience without exception.



Chan-Wuk Song song@donga.com