The 'proposal to dispatch Korean soldiers to Afghanistan' that has already passed the National Defense Committee of the National Assembly, and the 'Anti-Terrorism Bill' proposed by the National Intelligence Service and submitted to the National Assembly, are being met with loud protests from civic and social groups.
The 'Anti-Terrorism bill' that has been submitted to the National Assembly proposes the establishment of a National Anti-Terrorism Counter-Measure Committee chaired by the Prime Minister and under the direct supervision of the President. And under the National Intelligence Service that will be in charge at the working level, an Anti-Terrorism Center will be set up and staffed by the Ministry of National Defense, the Public Prosecutors' Office and the National Police Agency. The Counter-Measure Committee has the power to recommend to the President the mobilization of armed forces or reserve forces to protect important state facilities and multi-functional facilities. And the public officers working at the Anti-Terrorism Center take on the roles of the judicial police and military police. Furthermore, if there is reason to suspect that a foreigner has anything to do with terrorism, the public officers can investigate the foreigner's address and reason for stay, and ask him or her to leave the country if there is cause to worry about terrorism.
Civic groups who have voiced their worries that this bill may become 'the second National Security Law' held a large protest rally on November 27 in front of the National Intelligence Service. Also, the 'Collective Action Against War and For Peace' and the 'Collective Struggle to Prevent the Anti-Terrorism Act' met up on November 30 in front of the Grand National Party headquarters to protest the dispatching of forces to Afghanistan and the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law, in the form of a rally and one-man demonstrations.
The Human Rights Committee (HRC) that was launched on November 26 submitted its written opinion to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Assembly Information Committee on November 30, stating, "The Anti-Terrorism bill is an issue that should be handled by experts from various fields and subject to public consensus, because it has a great bearing on the basic rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution." The HRC asked the relevant standing committee to take the HRC's opinion into account in its deliberation.
The HRC is also planning to hold a public hearing on this issue on December 7, during which it will decide on its official position on the Anti-Terrorism Act and relay it to the National Assembly.