Amnesty slams S. Korea for abuse of security law
SEOUL (AFP) - Amnesty International on Thursday accused South Korea of systematically abusing a 65-year-old security law in order to stifle debate and silence political opposition in Asia's fourth-largest economy.
In a 40-page report the rights watchdog documented a "dramatic increase" in the use of the National Security Law (NSL) under the administration of President Lee Myung Bak who took office in 2008.
Since 2008, the authorities have increasingly used vaguely worded clauses of the NSL to arbitrarily target people or organisations perceived to oppose government policies, especially on North Korea, Amnesty said.
"The NSL is being used as a smoke screen to hound critics of the government, with serious consequences for those targeted," Rajiv Narayan, Amnesty's East Asia Researcher, said in a statement.