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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue – Addendum – Mission to the Republic of Korea

By 2011/04/25 No Comments
 
United Nations 
A/HRC/17/27/Add.2
General Assembly Distr.: General 
21 March 2011 
Original: English 
 
 
Human Rights Council 
Seventeenth session 
Agenda item 3 
 
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development 
 
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, 
Frank La Rue 
 
    Addendum 
 
 
    Mission to the Republic of Korea  
 
Summary 
 
  The  Special  Rapporteur  on  the  promotion  and  protection  of  the  right  to  freedom  of 
opinion and expression undertook an official mission to the Republic of Korea from 6 to 17 
May 2010. In the present report, he provides a brief overview of the political and historical 
background  in  the  Republic  of  Korea,  and  outlines  international  legal  standards  and  the 
domestic  legal  framework  on  the  right  to  freedom  of  opinion  and  expression.  In  the  main 
section  of  the  report,  the  Special  Rapporteur  focuses  on  the  following  issues  of  concern: 
defamation,  freedom  of  opinion  and  expression  on  the  Internet,  freedom  of  opinion  and 
expression  before  elections, freedom  of  assembly,  restrictions on  freedom  of  expression on 
the  basis  of  national  security,  freedom  of  opinion  and  expression  of  public  officials, 
independence of the media, and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. 
  The  Special  Rapporteur  commends  the  progress  made  over  the  decades  in  the 
Republic  of  Korea  as  a  vibrant  democracy,  including  the  attainment  of  one  of  the  highest 
broadband Internet penetration in the world. However, the Special Rapporteur expresses his 
concern  that  since  the  candlelight  demonstrations  of  2008,  there  have  been  increased 
restrictions  on  individuals’  right  to  freedom  of  opinion  and  expression,  primarily  due  to  an 
increasing  number  of  prosecutions,  based  on  laws  that  are  often  not  in  conformity  with 
international  standards,  of  individuals  who  express  views  which  are  not  in  agreement  with
the  position  of  the  Government.  The  Special  Rapporteur  makes  several  recommendations 
on  each  of  the  main  issues  addressed  to  fully  guarantee  the  right  of  all  individuals  to 
express  diverse  opinions,  both  in  law  and  in  practice,  which  would  further  consolidate  the 
democratic foundations of the Republic of Korea. 
 
 
 
Annex 
    Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and 
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, 
Frank La Rue, on his mission to the Republic of Korea 
(6-17 May 2010) 
Contents 
  Paragraphs  Page 
  I.  Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….   1?6  4 
  II.  Political and historical background ……………………………………………………………….   7?11  4 
  III.  International legal standards…………………………………………………………………………   12?13  5 
  IV.  Domestic legal framework …………………………………………………………………………..   14?16  6 
  V.  Situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the  
    Republic of Korea ………………………………………………………………………………………   17?86  6 
    A.  General overview ………………………………………………………………………………..   17?20  6 
    B.  Issues of concern…………………………………………………………………………………   21?86  7 
  VI.  Conclusions and recommendations ……………………………………………………………….   87?102  19 
    A.  Defamation ………………………………………………………………………………………..   89  20 
    B.  Freedom of opinion and expression on the Internet ………………………………….   90?94  20 
    C.  Freedom of opinion and expression before elections………………………………..   95  21 
    D.  Freedom of assembly …………………………………………………………………………..   96  21 
    E.  Restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression on the basis of 
      national security ………………………………………………………………………………….   97?99  21 
    F.  Right to freedom of opinion and expression of public officials………………….   100  21 
    G.  Independence of the media …………………………………………………………………..   101  22 
    H.  National Human Rights Commission of Korea ……………………………………….   102  22 
 

 

2011-03-20

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