South Korean civic organisations have stepped up their long-running campaign for the abolition of the country's anti-communist National Security Law. The lobby groups are hoping to take advantage of the leftward shift in the country's politics following last month's general election. They will hold a mass rally outside parliament tomorrow to harness political support for their cause. Enacted in 1948, the law was designed to protect the South from the threat posed by communist North Korea. It forbids unauthorised contact with the North and bans support for 'anti-state groups'. Many of the law's provisions have been criticised for violating human rights, and South Korea's military dictators exploited it to deal with political opponents. 'The National Security Law, which oppressed democracy and human rights in Korea for half a century, should be abolished once and for all,' said Kim Seong-lan, a spokeswoman for the pressure groups that have united to oppose the act. In recent years, as South Korea's democracy has matured and against a background of warming relations between the two Koreas, the draconian security law has begun to look out of place. 'The National Security Act is certainly outdated under the new world order and rapidly changing inter-Korean relations,' former unification minister Park Jae-kyu said. Even some of the law's strongest supporters, including the conservative Grand National Party (GNP), have admitted it might be time for a rethink. 'There's room for thinking about adjustments to the National Security Law,' GNP leader Park Guen-hye said. Earlier this year, German-Korean scholar Song Doo-yul was sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the National Security Law after he was found guilty of being a member of Pyongyang's ruling politburo and of disseminating North Korean propaganda.