National Human Rights Commission of Korea

All menus
The World for All National Human Rights Commission of Korea is always with you

Not Allowing a Catholic Notebook in a Detention Cell Violates the Right to Freedom of Religion

  • 2008-12-01
  • 338
Upon the Commission’s investigation on the petition filed in regards to non-allowance of possession of a Catholic notebook to certify a believer in Roman Catholicism in a detention cell, the Commission confirmed the infringement of human rights including the right to freedom of religion and recommended that the chief of the Detention House A allow detainees to possess Catholic notebooks.
The petitioner, Mr. I (30 years old), a detainee in Detention House A, filed a complaint in March, 2008, claiming that the chief of the Detention House A did not allow him possession of his Catholic notebook and this infringed upon his right to freedom of religion.
In accordance with the Article 42 of the 'United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners’, “so far as practicable, every prisoner shall be allowed to satisfy the needs of his religious life by attending the services provided in the institution and having in his possession the books of religious observance and instruction of his denomination.” Furthermore, Article 8 of the ‘Regulations on the Religious Life of the Prisoners,’ an established rule of the Ministry of Justice, stipulates that the “Chief of the Prison, if he or she deems it necessary for detainees’ enlightenment, shall allow detainees to possess portable religious objects. However, concerning the quality, quantity, rule, and characteristics, he shall determine the allowance of the possession of religious objects within the limit of security and non-interference in other detainees’ lives.” A Catholic notebook is made of paper, has religious purposes and poses low threat of self-murder, self-injury or harm to others. If a detainee does not possess a Catholic notebook, it is difficult for him to memorize prayers.
Thus, prohibiting detainees’ possession of Catholic notebook represents excessive control over their desire for religious lives and infringes upon their right to freedom of religion. Therefore, the Commission recommended that the chief of the Detention House A take proper measures to allow Catholic detainees to possess their religious objects, study Catholic doctrines, and lead their religious lives.

Back to top
Back to top
Go to the main page Close all menus