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Petition to Save An Chung Hak

The following petition, written in three languages (Korean, Japanese and English), was circulated and signed by legislators, NGO members and attendees at the Conference.

After the signatures were gathered, the petition was sent to the office of Roh Moo-Hyun, president of South Korea.

Dear President Roh Moo-Hyun,

We demand the immediate release of An Chung Hak (47), a citizen of South Korea, who has been detained in China without legitimate cause.

An Chung Hak, born a North Korean, was sent to the then Soviet Union as a lumber worker in 1991. In early August 1994, he escaped from the lumbering site and hid in a foreign vessel bound for South Korea. He entered South Korea in 1994 and acquired South Korean citizenship. In 1996, An Chung Hak married Lin Ok Suk, and has now a five-year-old daughter. Since 1995 he has lived an exemplary life working at Kia Motors Corp., an automotive manufacturer. During a visit to China on business, he learned of the sufferings of North Korean refugees hiding in China. Unable to ignore their suffering, he began efforts to help them.

When An Chung Hak arrived at Yanji Airport on February 4, 2005, he was arrested by Chinese police without legitimate reason and detained at Yanji prison, where he remains to this date.

The South Korean government must strongly protest the Chinese government’s illegal arrest and detention of a South Korean citizen. We strongly urge the government of South Korea to pressure the Chinese government for the immediate release of An Chung Hak.