o National Human Rights Commission of Korea recommended to the Minister of Justice to devise a detailed standard on the use of protective equipment which in principles requires for the use of protective equipment including the handcuffs cover or masks when transporting a prisoner to outside and allows exception upon prisoner’s will and carry out vocational education for prison officers in charge of transport.
o The complainant, who was imprisoned in 00 prison in 2016, filed as complaint to NHRCK that he was humiliated when he was transporting to a trial on remedy for unfair dismissal as he was exposed to a number of people without wearing protective equipment including the rope and handcuffs cover.
o The prison concerned responded that the complainant did not ask for the handcuffs cover from the departure from the prison to arrival at the National Labor Relations Commission, and before the departure, they announced that medicine for nausea, drinking water and handcuffs cover are equipped in transport vehicle and there was no need to use or suggest to use the handcuffs cover or a mask.
o However, the UN Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners prescribes that prisoners shall not be exposed to public during transport and appropriate protective measures shall be taken to prevent prisoners from being subject to insult, curiosity and fear. The Guidance on Surveillance, a Directive of Ministry of Justice, requires for use of protective equipment including masks for protection of human rights of prisoners.
o Violation Remedy Subcommittee 2 of NHRCK concluded that the purpose of such act is to encourage prison officers in charge of transport to take caution when transporting prisoners outside including transfer and going for trial or hospital to prevent prisoners from being exposed to general public to become subject of insult, curiosity and fear and thus the claim of the prison concerned that it did not provide protective equipment because there was no request from the complainant is not acceptable.
o In addition, prison officer concerned violated the duty to care prescribed under the Guidance on Surveillance and as a result the complainant was exposed to become a subject to insult, curiosity and fear and his personal rights guaranteed under the Constitution was violated.
o Accordingly, NHRCK recommended to devise detailed standard on the use of protective equipment to help prison officers in charge of transport prevent recurrence of such cases and to provide vocational education to related personnel.