Migrant workers in South Korea up in arms over ‘violent’ immigration officials
Chinese construction worker allegedly kicked, punch and hit with batons by four or five officials
By Chyung Eun-ju and Park Si-soo
Migrant workers are calling for a thorough investigation of immigration officials who allegedly used violence against undocumented foreigners.
A group of migrant workers staged a rally in front of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, demanding that the prosecution launch an investigation into what happened during a crackdown on undocumented foreign workers by immigration officials on June 14.
“Although they are unregistered, they have the right to be treated safely, not violently,” they chanted. “To be detained in the same place with attackers who are immigration office employees, is a violation of human rights,”
The immigration office’s Suwon office led the controversial crackdown during which an undocumented Chinese worker was severely injured by violent officials, according to the Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea, a civic group dedicated to protecting migrant workers’ human rights.
The Chinese worker at a construction site in Yongteong-gu, Suwon, is said to have been kicked, punched and battered with a police baton by four or five officials.
He was detained for days without medical treatment and left for his hometown “voluntarily” in July, according to the committee.
His co-worker filed a formal complaint with the prosecution the same month, demanding an investigation into the Suwon office for alleged physical abuse and violence.
“Abuse of migrants has gone unnoticed because the victims are unregistered,” said the committee in a statement. “A victim who spent time in the foreigner’s protection center could not stand the difficulty anymore and left for China last July.”
The prosecution is analysing video footage from the scene to find out who was responsible.