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NHRC imposes Civil Fine against the U.S. Forces (08-16-2002)

  • 2002-12-04
  • 2244

NHRC imposes Civil Fine of Ten Million Won against the 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. Forces in Korea (08-16-2002)


The NHRC imposed a civil fine of ten million won against the Second Infantry Division of the U.S. Forces in
Korea (Kyonggi-do, Euijeong-bu, Camp Red Cloud) for failing to comply with the NHRC"s request to submit materials and written statements, on 16 August. The NHRC also delivered "a written notice for imposing fines" to the U.S. force.


According to Article 36 of the National Human Rights Commission Act (the Commission Act), NHRC may "require the party concerned, an interested person or the related entity to submit such materials as deemed related to matters subject to investigation" if deemed necessary, and in case the party concerned fails to comply with the NHRC"s request, it shall be "punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding 10 million won" (Article 63). In the case of the Second Infantry Division, the NHRC had levied the fine only after the Commission had requested the Second Infantry to submit materials and written statements (1st: 8 July, 2nd: 18 July) and the Second Infantry had not responded to either of the requests.


According to the Commission Act (Enforcement Ordinance Article 19.2), when imposing a fine, NHRC is to provide the respondent with at least "10 days in which that party may submit his/her opinion, whether through written documents or orally." Thus, NHRC gave the respondents a further  opportunity to state an opinion. However, the Second Infantry Division failed to state an opinion by the time limit (9 August).


Following the Commission Act, the due date for the respondents to pay the fine is 17 September. If they want to object to pay the fine, they should raise an objection within 30 days of the time they received the "written notice for imposing fines."

 

The investigation was initiated by two reporters from the internet newspaper The Voice of People.  Mr. Lee and Mr. Han had filed a petition to the NHRC, claiming that while they were being arrested and detained by  soldiers in the Second Infantry Division, those soldiers had violated the two reporters" human rights.

 

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