CHANGWON, Aug. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean law enforcement officials have opened investigations into two separate cases regarding violence against non-Koreans, one involving an Uzbek student and another involving a migrant worker from Bangladesh.
Yesterday, the Gyungnam Migrant Community Service Center filed two complaints regarding the incidents to the Gyeongnam Provincial Police Agency.
The Migrant Center said that 24-year-old Uzbek student was beaten by a group of immigration officials and illegally detained after being mistaken for an illegal immigrant while on duty at a part-time job in Haman County, South Gyeongsang Province.
When the Uzbek protested and claimed to be a legal resident, officials allegedly said they were “here after finding out all about it.”
The Uzbek was punched several times in the face before being detained for five days.
The Migrant Center also filed a complaint against a business owner in Namhae County who forced two Bangladeshi employees to take on the owner’s personal tasks and was verbally and physically violent towards the employees.
Police authorities plan to investigate the matter by questioning the plaintiffs and defendants in both cases.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice replied to the complaint filed against its immigration officials and said that the Uzbek student was working illegally at a construction site.
“Even if an international student is a legal resident, he or she must gain prior approval before getting a job,” explained a ministry official.
The official went on to explain that the detention period of five days followed legal protocol.
The ministry claims that officials had no choice but to use physical force when the Uzbek individual created a dangerous situation on site by refusing to respond to officials and trying to run away.
The ministry, however, plans to conduct its own internal investigation to see if there was an abuse of force by the officials during the arrest.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)