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Brussels, 21 May 2018 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has welcomed the announcement by the Korean Ministry of Justice that Han San-gyun, President of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions will be released from prison on parole. Han was imprisoned for organising union protests under the corrupt regime of former Korean President Park Guen-hye almost three years ago.

 

"For the past three years, millions of workers across the world called for the release of Han Sang-gyun former President KCTU after he was jailed after leading mass mobilisations against the repressive labour law changes of the former government.

 

Today Han Sang-gyun is out of prison. He will be welcomed home not only by the people of Korea, but by workers worldwide.

 

The arbitrary arrest and detention of union leaders around the world is on the rise. Repression of workers at peaceful protests is becoming more brutal. This is democracy under attack.

 

From workplace activists tackling corporate greed to trade union leaders demanding justice for working people, there are courageous women and men in every village, in every city. But today we honour Hang Sang-gyun for his sacrifice in defending the rights of working people. The government of Korea has taken an important step today.

 

The fight for freedom does not end here, former KCTU general secretary Lee Young-joo remains in detention for her role in the peaceful protests that brought down the former government and we call for her immediate release.

 

Repression of workers'rights and regressive labour policies mean exploitation of working people. We are tremendously pleased that Han will be able to rejoin family, friends and colleagues, and carry on his work for social justice," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.