South Korean Political Prisoners Protest
On August 15, 1995, the South Korean government granted amnesty and freed 1,780 prisoners, many of whom were political prisoners. Over 440 political prisoners remain behind bars. No change has been made with regard to harsh laws that punish any expression of sympathy or support for North Korea.
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In early August, 1995, hundreds of political prisoners began a hunger strike to demand their freedom and the end of national security laws that prohibit contact with people in North Korea. The government denied the strike was taking place and stated that anyone taking part would be denied release because amnesty was only for those who "showed good behavior." Many of the prisoners on strike have been held in prison for over 30 years, solely for being communists or socialists.