The Immigration Office must suspend the order for forced deportation until the objection and administrative litigation from the parties concerned has been concluded."(08-12-2002)
On 10 August 2002 the NHRC recommended to the head of the Seoul Immigration Office, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, to suspend the order to deport three Korean-Chinese from Korea until "objection and administrative litigation from the parties concerned has been concluded."
The incident concerns Mr. Cho (aged 71) and two other Korean-Chinese, who, on 5 August, had entered a butcher"s shop in Suwon city at and shoved the owner and swore at him. The authorities at Suwon Police Station arrested the three men for violating the "Law on Violence and Punishment," and took them to the Seoul Immigration Office. On 6 August, the authorities at the Seoul Immigration Office ordered the men to be forcibly deported, in accordance with the Immigration Control Act.
The NHRC has concluded that the order should be suspended until the objection and administrative litigation from the parties concerned has reached a definite conclusion, due to the following reasons: 1) the men had been residing in Korea and had properly registered; 2) the acts committed by the individuals do not constitute a major disturbance neither to our society nor to our nation as a whole; 3) the men were drunk when the incident happened. The NHRC recommendation is based on the belief that if the order were to be carried out, the men would be faced with a situation in which the damage cannot by any means be overturned.
According to the Immigration Control Law, a deportation order may be rendered if there is a reason to believe that an individual "threatens the security and order of our nation" or if there is a reason to believe that an individual may "engage in an activity which may threaten the nation"s economy, social order, or ethics." The NHRC is of the opinion that the act, as committed by the three individuals while intoxicated, does not qualify under any of the above categories.
The NHRC hopes that this decision may be of help to many ethnic Koreans who suffer under dire conditions.