Police deny manhandling

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Police deny manhandling

Students arrested during a flash protest over college tuition costs say police treated them roughly during interrogation and that one female student was sexually harassed.

But the police are adamantly denying the accusations and yesterday asked the National Human Rights Commission of Korea to conduct an investigation.

“We have sent an official request to the human rights committee to conduct their own investigation concerning the issue,” said Jang Shin-joong, head of the Human Rights Center at the National Police Agency.

“We have already conducted our own investigation but couldn’t find any violation of human rights. .?.?. But since [many people] won’t trust our investigation, we have decided to request the National Human Rights Commission of Korea to conduct its own.”

It is the first such request from the police since the establishment of the commission in 2001. On June 10, students in the 21st Century Korean University Student Association held a flash demonstration against high college tuition near the Blue House in Seoul. Police arrested 72 students and took them to three police stations. Some were released and some were held overnight.

According to the 21st Century Korean University Student Association, which held a press conference on Wednesday at Cheonggye Plaza in central Seoul, the police subjected the students to “oppressive interrogation that violates human rights.”

It said the police verbally abused students, slapped some of their heads, failed to show some of the students arrest warrants and woke some students up the following morning by kicking their heads. The students also said one female student was sexually humiliated when police ordered her to remove her bra. She was then questioned by a male police officer.

In the past, Korean police have ordered arrested women to remove their bras if they suspected they might commit suicide, but the practice has long been controversial.

According to Gwangjin Police Station, where the women students were held, a female officer asked one female student to take off her bra for safety reasons because “she was showing signs of being distressed about having to come to a police station.” Police said the student “was found crying in a cell after taking her stockings off in police station restroom.”

Hong Yeong-hwa, head of Gwangjin Police Station, held a press conference on Wednesday and apologized for the bra incident, saying, “Such a request was in line with legal procedures but I apologize for the fact that she felt humiliated by being questioned by a male police officer.”

By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

시위 여대생 속옷 탈의 수사 논란…경찰이 인권위에 진상규명 요청

경찰 “우리 조사 안 믿어 의뢰”

경찰이 16일 국가인권위원회에 “‘반값등록금’ 촛불집회 참가자 연행 과정에서 불거진 각종 인권침해 논란에 대해 조사해 달라”고 요청했다. 경찰이 인권위에 조사 요청을 한 것은 2001년 인권위 설립 이후 처음이다.

한국대학생연합(한대련) 측은 “경찰이 여대생을 연행해 조사하면서 브래지어를 벗게 하는 등 인권침해를 했다”고 주장하고 있다. 이에 대해 경찰은 “서울 광진경찰서로 연행된 여대생 7명 가운데 1명이 화장실에서 스타킹을 벗고 유치장 바닥에 주저앉아 우는 등 돌출행동을 해서 위험물로 규정된 브래지어를 벗게 했다”고 설명했다. 피의자유치 및 호송규칙에 브래지어가 자해 도구로 분류돼 있어 인권보호 규정에 맞게 스스로 벗도록 한 만큼 인권침해가 아니라는 것이다.

장신중 경찰청 인권보호센터장은 이날 “광진서에 직접 나가 조사를 했는데 인권침해라고 볼 만한 사안을 발견하지 못했다”며 “우리가 조사한 결과를 발표해봤자 믿지 않을 것이기 때문에 인권위에 조사를 의뢰한 것”이라고 말했다. 이어 “인권위 조사 결과 우리가 고칠 게 있으면 고치겠지만, 인권침해가 없었다는 결과가 나오면 허위사실을 퍼뜨린 쪽에 책임을 물을 계획”이라고 덧붙였다. 경찰은 “유치인 보호관이 연행자가 일어나지 않는다며 머리를 발로 차 깨웠다” “영장을 보여주지 않고 압수수색을 집행했다”는 등 한대련이 주장하는 다른 인권침해 사례에 대해서도 인권위에 조사를 요청했다.

한편 인권위는 이날 한대련 소속 대학생 등이 “경찰로부터 인권 침해를 당했다”는 진정을 내 조사에 나섰다고 밝혔다. 인권위 관계자는 “연행된 대학생 일부가 진정 12건을 냈다”며 “여대생 브래지어 탈의와 관련한 진정은 접수되지 않았다”고 전했다.

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