STATEMENT OF CONDEMNATION ON UNJUST TREATMENT:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
AND DEPORTATION OF MICHEL CATUIRA
03 May 2012
We strongly condemn the unjust treatment done and consequent deportation of Michel Catuira by the South Korean immigration officers on April 30 to May 1, 2012 at Incheon International Airport. The South Korean Immigration officers stationed at Incheon International Airport have denied entry to Michel Catuira based on outdated computer immigration data dating back to February 2011, where his name was blacklisted. The issuance of a new G1 visa status was either unrecorded in the computer data base or intentionally disregarded by Immigration office’s in pursuance of persecution of migrants trade unionism in the country coupled with xenophobic anxiety.
Michel Catuira’s personal account of the ten (10) harrowing hours of interrogation, vexation, harassment and deportation are manifestations of the xenophobia and discrimination of foreign migrant trade unionists. He vividly describes what transpired in his dialogue with the immigration officer in this way:
At some point, they (the immigration officers) told me that according to their records on the computer, my name was black-listed on February in 2011. After winning the court case, I was given the G1 status in November 2011. They have not rescinded my name on the black-list and therefore it showed that I am banned from entering Korea for 5 years. I argued that after getting the G1 visa it should automatically mean that the black-list status is invalidated. I have also seen them discuss my case in hushed tones and overheard that they will not allow my entry although the officer(이명-Lee Myeong) continue to be vague about the outcome.
We are disgusted in the seeming ignorance of basic concepts and actual protection of human rights of persons regardless of race or nationality by the immigration officers who dealt with Michel Catuira. The arrogance and hypocrisy unraveled in their verbal responses to him are revolting to our sensibilities:
A few moments later, another immigration officer from the office last night came in, followed by two airline personnel, one male, one female. He said he is with Cebu Pacific and he arrogantly gestured with his hand for me to stand up and come with him. He was echoed by the immigration officer both continue to intimidate and verbally harass me. I said I refused to go but they continuously assaulted me with their remarks saying that the immigration already denied my entry and that I should leave. I repeatedly said that I have a right to due process, that I have rights and that I have not violated any laws in coming here and that I refuse to leave without due process. They just said that I am not Korean. And that they don’t care about my rights. The immigration officer then instructed him to just drag me away.
We denounce the intimidation, harassment and manhandling of Michel Catuira by the Immigration Officers which showed their ineptitude and bellicose approach in dealing with foreigners from labor sending countries:
They continuously intimidated me and verbally harassed me. They kept on ordering me to stand up and take my bags to board the plane. I remained sitting down and calmly but steadily refused. The officer 박 (Park)? 규정 (Kyujeong) kept on calling and instructing the police officers to drag me away but immigration officer 안미전 (Ahn Mi-Jeon) kept reminding them that it is a violation. I kept on also telling them that if they did lay a hand on me it would be a violation of my Human Rights and that I will take legal measures against them. The officer from last night, whom I believe to be a high-ranking officer kept on saying snide remarks such as, “What is human rights? I can’t understand you!”(re: Human Rights), “I don’t care!”
We demand to the government of the Republic of Korea that the immigration officers involved in the unjust treatment and consequent deportation of Michel Catuira be held accountable for their unprofessional and inhumane actions toward a foreigner holding a valid visa to South Korea.
We demand the government of the Republic of the Philippines through the Department of Foreign Affairs to file diplomatic protest or relevant diplomatic and legal recourse to the Department of Justice of the Republic of Korea for redress of grievance of Michel Catuira and rectify conduct of immigration offices in their ports of entry and departure.
We assert the labor and human rights of all migrant workers as guaranteed in the United Nations Convention on the Protection of Rights of Migrants and their Families and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Similarly, we assert the human dignity of all migrant workers in South Korea and the right to form trade unions.
Rev. Jang Chang Weon
ILPS preparatory in Korea
Philippinesjang, 2012-05-07 04:19, Hit : 7,692