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Immigration’s Targeted Crackdown on MTU Leadership
MTU leadership including president arrested
Byun Jeongpil, Reporter
On the morning of November 27, MTU President Kajiman, Vice President Raju and General Secretary Masum were arrested, each in front of his separate home or workplace, roughly at the same time.

The Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants' Trade Union and the KCTU see the simultaneous arrest of three MTU leaders as ‘targeted crackdown, plot for dismantling MTU and repression against labor movement’ and are seeking for counter measures.

  A migrant worker picketing Seoul Immigration Office saying ‘Free Comrade Kajiman, Raju’

The Migrants' Trade Union, which started as an independent union of migrant workers’ own, has long been the target of the authorities’ crackdown. Anwar, the first president of the union, fell a victim of the targeted crackdown at Sung-Su Dong and was released in 2005.

Immigration officers spoke pointedly the name of VP

Besides the simultaneous arrest of three MTU leaders at separate places, there is another circumstantial evidence that makes it clear that the recent crackdown is a targeted one aimed at collapsing the MTU. According to the MTU, the vice president was arrested when he was called before his boss who was asked “Is Raju in there?” by immigration officers.

President Kajiman was leaving his home in Sung-dong Gu when he was arrest. Confronted by more than 10 immigration officers who had been hiding in front of his house, he was believed to be traced. Choi Jung-Kyu, the cooperation director of the MTU, who was with Mr. Kajiman says “As soon as we reached an entrance to the Jung-Ang Market, we felt something wrong. Then more than ten made a surprise raid.” Mr. Choi added that immigration officers were carrying camcorders.

General Secretary Masum, who was supposed to attend a plan protest in front of Seoul Immigration Office which would begin, got lost and was later found to be arrested.

It was reported that three leaders were transported to a detention center in Cheong-ju, and then saw a lawyer.

“It’s clearly repression against MTU” said the Vice President of KCTU

Ju Bong-hee, a vice president of KCTU, said that the KCTU regarded this targeted crackdown of three leaders of MTU, which belongs to KCTU, as an all-out attack against the umbrella organization and would take every action available. And he added “This case exposes the government’s plot to dismantle the MTU, and is apparently repression against democratic labor movements.”

Many related organizations including KCTU and MTU are discussing how to deal with it.

The protest in front of Seoul Immigration Office initially planned to be held at 11 o’clock was a little bit put off and participants visit Seoul Immigration Office to reproach the crackdown. Delegation of the participants met officials of the immigration office and lodged strong protest, but the officials said “We have stepped up illegal immigration enforcement without visible result, so we had to intensify the crackdown against undocumented workers. In the wake of those crackdowns, this happened.”

Translated by Cho Eun-seok

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