By William Gomes
Korean Rights organization, Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS) arranged a demonstration outside of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Seoul, Korea on demand of urgent release of labor rights activist on Wednesday
After the demonstration the organization have arranged a press conference and released a joined press statement signed by thirty different rights organizations. The joined press statement was duly signed by the organizations that includes Altogether, Ansan Immigrant center, Asia Pacific workers solidarity Links Korea, Catholic guri Namayanju migrant center , Korean Human Rights Research Center, Migrants center on Based catholic , committee to support Imprisoned workers , Daejeon Moyse, Daejeon Association for foreign labors, Democratic workers solidarity, Friends of Asia ,Gumi catholic workers center , Human Rights welfare organization for migrant workers , Korean migrant worker’s human rights center , Korean confederation of trade unions, Korean house for International solidarity, Korean progressive labor network , Migrant labor center in gyeongsan , Migrants’ trade union , Network for global activism , Network for migrants rights, Osan labors and migrants shelter , peoples solidarity for participatory democracy , peoples solidarity for social progress, public interest lawyers group, Pusan missionary association for foreign labor, Ronel Chakma Nai, Solidarity with migrants , Windows of Asia and Yang San Migrant worker’s house.
In the joined press statement the organizations demanded that Bangladesh government to release the labor rights activist Moshrefa Mishu President of the Garment Workers Unity Forum (GWUF), a labor rights organization of the readymade garment factories of the country immediately.
The have strongly criticize the Bangladesh government’s illegal arrest of Mrs. Mishu and denying to provide her a proper medical treatment. They said these acts by the government, which clearly violated international human rights laws, is very shameful behavior and should be strongly blamed.
They also said we urge to Bangladesh government to immediately stop arresting and abusing the union activists.
They also said we particularly urge that the government of the Republic of Korea and Korean companies should also take responsibility for Mrs. Mishu’s case. Many Korean companies entered Bangladesh market by taking advantage of the Bangladesh government’s low wage policy and anti-union policy, and are highly contributing to build up the vulnerable conditions for the workers.
They said in the statement “If the benefited Korean companies would not take responsibility for the damaged workers by the benefits, then who should take responsibility for this? It is clear that the Korean companies are benefitted by the Bangladesh government’s abuses against workers. In this regard, Korean companies are also responsible for Mrs. Mishu’s illegal arrest, detention, and illtreatment by the Bangladesh government”.
They also said “the Korean government has been promoting Korean companies to invest in Bangladesh by suggesting attractions such as low wages and weak labor protection policy. Till now, the Korean government has been paid less attention on the international labor standards and has not been implementing its international obligations. However, the recent massive protest in Bangladesh indicates that the Korean government should not remain passive over the labor issue in Bangladesh. At least, the Korean government should sincerely study the causes behind the massive labor demonstration and try hard to make sure that Korean companies are not involved in human rights abuses against Bangladesh workers. One of President
Lee Myung Bak’s national campaign slogan is “Becoming the mature global country”. Urging the Bangladesh government to release Mrs. Mishu should be the top priority for the Korean government as “The mature global country”, for the sake of protecting and improving human rights.
In the statement they said “We, the Korean civil and union groups, strongly call for Mrs. Mishu’s immediate release. Standing in solidarity, we will continue to fight together with Bangladesh workes until Mrs. Mishu is released and workers achieve three basic labor rights and live like a human being. All the workers are the one; no one’s human rights should be violated!
Earlier another regional human rights organization Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has issued an urgent appeal for Mishu.
Asian Human Rights Commission has already written separate letters to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteurs on Independent of Judges and Lawyers and Violence against Women requesting their prompt interventions in this case.
Mishu’s sister Zebu said I am really pleased to know that Korean people stand by the side of Mishu. I am very thankful to the Korean rights organizations and to the Korean people. This demand is an example of love of Korean people towards Mishu and towards the suppressed workers and workers movement in Bangladesh. My sister is very sick; I demand the immediate release of her.