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Choi Kwon-ho, the chief of the Seocho precinct of Seoul, where some police officers believe their “portrait right” is more important than citizens’ public safety.     Source: http://www.smpa.go.kr/sc/

Choi Kwon-ho, the chief of the Seocho precinct of Seoul, where at least two police officers safeguard their own “portrait rights” at the cost of ordinary citizens’ civil liberties.  Source: web capture at http://www.smpa.go.kr/sc/

On July 24th, the Seoul police harassed and even briefly detained SHARPS’s lawyer and supporters, one day after the advocacy group stepped up its effort to further press Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, to admit that its hazardous working conditions have spawned a cluster of fatal occupational disease, and to compensate the victims.

Samsung Cordon

On July 24, SHARPS’s labor attorney Lee Jong-ran called the police after a phalanx of private security guards sealed off the public sidewalk at the entrance of Samsung’s corporate headquarters in Seoul.  Samsung also cordoned the streets around the building front with tens of buses in an apparent attempt to thwart pickets.  Two police officers from the Seocho precinct of Seoul showed up.  However, they did not take any action, claiming that maintenance of the streets is out of their jurisdiction.

Police Officers’ Rights to Their Portraits

Then, the two officers suddenly demanded a SHARPS volunteer stop videotaping their discussion with Lee.  The officers said, “Stop videotaping. That’s violations of the portrait rights.”

The portrait right, also called the right of publicity, refers to the right of an individual to protect the fair use of image.  In South Korea, portrait rights violations can lead to criminal charges.  When asked why videotaping public officials violated their publicity rights, the police did not answer. Instead, they threatened to arrest the videographer unless he gave them his national ID number and address.

On July 24th, Lee Jong-ran, SHARPS’s labor attorney, was arrested for murmuring to herself.

On July 24th, Lee Jong-ran, SHARPS’s labor attorney, was arrested for murmuring to herself.

Dangerous Murmur 

Following the argument, Lee murmured to herself, “They received money from Samsung?”  Then, the officers arrested her, citing defamation.

Chung Hee-su, the husband of a Samsung victim, went to the precinct to protest the arrest. The police arrested him too for public disturbances, but he was not read her rights when arrested.  Chung’s wife, Lee Yun-jeong died of brain tumor in May 2012.  She was survived by Chung and two children.

Lee and Chung were released that evening, after being held for seven hours.

New Round Of Campaign To Heighten Pressure on Samsung

The police harassment came at a time when SHARPS has been increasing pressure on Samsung with a series of daily pickets and collective workers comp petitions.  A day earlier, on July 23rd, SHARPS filed petitions for workers compensation on behalf of ten former Samsung Electronics employees.  Four of the petitioners worked on the same memory chip or LCD production line, where their co-workers had already died or been suffering from a variety of blood disorder.  Eight of the ten had been employed at the Kihung plant and two at the LCD plant of Samsung.

SHARPS also demanded the government conduct epidemiologic investigations of Samsung’s chip and LCD production lines.

Chung Hee-su’s wife Lee Yun-jeong died of brain cancer in May 2012, after having worked at a Samsung chip production line.  The police arrested Chung on July 24th for public disturbances when he protested the arrest of his labor attorney, Lee.  Chung was not Mirandized.

Chung Hee-su’s wife Lee Yun-jeong died of brain cancer in May 2012, after having worked at a Samsung chip production line. The police arrested Chung on July 24th for public disturbances when he protested the arrest of his labor attorney, Lee. Chung was not Mirandized.

One petitioner, who had inspected chip wafers—often with bare hands—at Samsung for 15 years, is diagnosed with choriocarcinoma, a fast-growing form of uterine cancer. The cancerous cells start in the tissues that would become the placenta, the organ that forms during pregnancy to feed the fetus.

Correction: a prior version of this post incorrectly indicated Chung Hee-su, husband of a Samsung victim, as a woman. This post has been updated to add more information on Chung and his late wife, Lee Yun-jeong

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Yongwook Kim/PM 5:45 at 2nd April 2010, Chamsesang website.

SHARPS ask Samsung to be responsible for the death in the funeral ceremony in 2nd April.

In 2nd April, there was a funeral ceremony of a female worker who died because of blood cancer developed after she worked in On-Yang city  factory in Samsung semiconductor industry. The family of Ji-yeon Park headed for a crematorium in Sung-Nam city after they finished the funeral ceremony at the Seoul St. Mary Hospital at 10:00 a.m.

Members of SHARPS (Supporters for Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry) tried to march from Seoul St. Mary Hospital to the main building of Samsung after the funeral ceremony; however, it failed because police prohibited the march.

Afterward, at 12:30 p.m., members of SHARPS got together in front of the main building of Samsung and had a protesting performance for Samsung. 10 members of SHARPS tried to walk around the building of Samsung with a hand picket and a placard, but the performance was ceased because securities of Samsung prevent it. And policemen also ask the people to break up the performance twice, insisting that it is illegal.

After the performance was forced to stop by police and securities, people tried to have a press interview even without a microphone in front of the main building of Samsung at 1:00 p.m. They didn’t shout any slogan, but the police ask the people to breakup the press interview in 10 minutes and they arrested seven protesters. The arrested members of SHARPS shouted to Samsung:  “You are responsible for the death of Ji-Yeon Park.”

http://www.newscham.net/news/view.php?board=news&nid=56140 (Original Korean Article)

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