South Korea: Thousands of riot police in bloody eviction of villagers to make way for American military base
Up to 130 people are reported injured after 13,000 riot police and 3,000 troops were deployed today (4 May) against 700 campaigners and farmers protesting against the eviction of people from their village.
Almost 350 people have been arrested. The land, in Daechuri village, Pyongtaek, is to be used for the expansion of a US base.
Rajiv Narayan, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International, said:
“The sheer numbers of injured people demand an independent investigation into the policing of these forced evictions and demonstrations. The authorities must release all those who have been arrested simply for peaceful protesting.
"We are deeply concerned at the forced eviction of these elderly farmers. Under the current terms it leaves them financially very vulnerable, with few opportunities to make a living. We urge the government to carry out a fresh consultation, allowing them adequate compensation."
A local campaigning group, Save Pyongtaek Farmers, has agreed to allow media full usage rights to their photographs. The photos show in graphic detail the storming by police of the village school; injured protesters; clashes between armoured police and stick-wielding demonstrators; and elderly villagers facing eviction.
To access the photos, please go to http://saveptfarmers.org/blog/
For more information and quotes, please see South Korea: Elderly farmers forcibly evicted for US army base at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA250012006?open&of=ENG-KOR