Chejudo: Dringende Bitte der Partnerkirche
Unsere Partnerkirche, die Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) bittet ihre Partner und Freunde um Solidarittät.Dear friends:
As promised, we are contacting you again with news of Rev. Lee Jeong Hoon, in prison in Jeju City for his involvement with the Gangjeong resistance movement. Perhaps you can use this as an item for website or other communication.
Thank you from the Justice and Peace and Ecumenical Relations Departments of PROK
March 26, 2012
Our brother Rev. Lee Jeong Hoon is in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience. He is also a minister of the PROK, and chairperson of Jeju North Presbytery. He chose, for his Lenten discipline this year, to take upon himself the burden of Jesus who wept over Jerusalem and experienced the rough hands of police and arrest.
The issue is the proposed Naval Base being built in Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island, South Korea. This base is all wrong. Right from the first, the process of settling on Gangjeong for the building was a faulty and illegal one, and while the government of Korea feels the need to build a base on Jeju Island, to "protect its sea lanes", the fact of building a mega-base there is an aggressive statement to its neighbours, and part of an arms race of great proportions and expense in Asia. Even the plans are faulty, and there have been constant calls for review from the National Assembly and the Provincial Government of Jeju Island. Of course, there is also destruction of a unique ecosystem, and the livelihoods of the villagers who refuse to accept the fact of the base. They have continued to resist non-violently and creatively, impeding the building for five years.
The powers of Empire have arisen against the resisting people. The Korean President, Lee Myung Bak, recently announced the base WOULD go ahead, at an accelerated pace. It seems evident that he wants to have so much destruction done by the time of the National Assembly election, on April 11, that a new government in power (and many feel the Democratic United Party will gain power and they have promised to shut down the project) will not be able to call a halt to it.
There is a global outcry, which the government is ignoring. A group decided to make an action which would speak to the government and the world. On March 9 number of people would go through the fence and into the site cutting the razor wire. Rev. Lee Jeong Hoon and Jesuit Fr. Kim Jeong Wook took the lead, and attacked the fence to make the openings for the others to enter.
All 25 were taken to prison. In the Korean system, people can be held for 48 hours, and then the police need to issue a warrant of arrest to hold them longer. 23 were released, but the clergy were arrested, and remain in prison.
PROK still does not know the final outcome of Rev. Lee Jeong Hoon's sentence. We know that he will have to pay court costs, and that the Navy, wanting to make an example of him, will stress the 'destruction to property', and demand a high penalty.
We ask your prayers of concern for Rev. Lee Jeong Hoon and Fr. Kim Jeong Wook. They both went into this action with the awareness that they would probably be arrested, and in so doing, they serve their people and their God.
We ask that in solidarity you support the resisters of Gangjeong Village by sending a letter of protest about the base and the arrests of those resisting nonviolently
to the President, LEE Myung Bak
and the Governor of Jeju, WOO Keun Min
Please sign and spread the petition to pressure the Lee Myung-Bak government