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수 신 각 언론사 정치부·사회부
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제 목 [공동성명] 땜질식 개정 택도 없다, 평시 군사법원 폐지하라
날 짜 2021. 08. 24. (총 2 쪽)
땜질식 개정 택도 없다, 평시 군사법원 폐지하라
제대로 수사도 처벌도 못하는 군 사법체계 유지시킨
국회 법사위, 강력 규탄
문제해결 자격 없는 군 당국은 군사법원 존치 시도 중단해야
Abolish the Peacetime Court-martial; Soldering Laws Is Far from Enough
Strongly denouncing the National Assembly Judiciary Committee,
Which keeps the military justice system, competent for neither investigation nor punishment;
The military, disqualified of the problem-solving, should end attempts to retain court-martial
1. Once more, the substantial reformation to the military justice system to eradicate repeated crimes of human rights violations such as sexual abuses and beating in the military is on the verge of a setback. Today, on August 24, the Amendment Bill to the Military Court Act has passed the 1st Sub-committee of the Judiciary Committee, so it will take steps of the resolution of the plenary meeting and the passage by the general meeting. The basic framework of the proposed bill is to abrogate the appellate court-martial, transfer its jurisdiction to a civilian court and to transfer jurisdiction of first instance over certain crimes such as sex crime to the civilian counterpart. Nonetheless, it is far from sufficient to eradicate the concealment of crimes in the military, repeated over the time, and to protect the victims. The National Assembly has turned away from the painful cries of victims and their families as well as the demand for reform from the civil societies but only cared about the posture of the Ministry of National Defense, who are responsible for the incidents, handling a matter with more haste than caution. It is a misjudgment to expect that they can soothe the angry public opinion even temporarily by amending the law as if soldering things when another organized concealment attempt is repeated in the Army, following the Air Force and the Navy. We strongly denounce the National Assembly Judiciary Committee, which disregarded the substantial reform of the military justice system.
2. Although the amendment bill transfers the jurisdiction over sex crimes, crimes caused death of a soldier, and crimes committed before joining the military to the civilian court, still it allows the Minister of National Defense to choose a court-martial on the basis of national security and military secrets. If a victim, etc. to object to such a decision, one has to apply for the Supreme Court; however, by the time when the Supreme Court’s ruling comes out, the finding truths itself will be difficult, and the victim has to endure all the secondary damages. Similarly, there is no logic in distinguishing a crime where a soldier passed away from that is not. Transference of crimes before military service to the civilian has nothing to do with the military’s concealment and downscale of bullying cases within the military in an organized way; it is simply taking credit to itself.
3. The abolition of the High Military Court is a matter that underwent as sufficient public debate as already included in the proposal submitted by the Ministry of National Assembly. The problem is that the abrogation of it would not alleviate the fundamental issues at all. It is because the investigative agencies such as the military police and the military prosecutors are still under the influence of the Minister of National Defense, meaning that it is hard to prevent case concealment, organized secondary damages, and intimidation or placation of victims during the initial stages. Right yesterday, the Air Force court-martial rejected issuance of arrest warrants against defendants who committed collective battery, etc. and maltreatment in the Engineering Battalion of the Air Force 18th Fighter Wing. Even though evidence of arson on clothing of the victim and other allegations was submitted and many suspects are in the same unit, which may result in contamination of testimonies, the court-martial rejected the arrest request, quoting that there is not a concern for run away and the proof of allegation is not sufficient. They did not even notify the schedule of the defendants’ trial for review on the warrant validity to the victim’s legal counsel. This is a good example that shows appropriate investigation and victim protection may not work at the early stages when a bullying case occurs in the military even if we get rid of the High Military Court. That is why the civil societies have long highlighted, consistently, the full abolition of court-martial for the peacetime.
4. Above all things, statistically speaking, since the crimes that require confidentiality during trial proceedings, for example: crimes related to military secrets or a treason, are extremely small; therefore, there is no reason to retain the peacetime court-martial. It is obvious conclusion that the 4th Sub-committee of the Civilian-Government-Military Joint Committee has made a resolution of the abrogation of the peacetime court-martial. Even so, the Ministry has reported to the National Assembly as if the Joint Committee is against the abolition of the peacetime court-martial, distorting the result of the resolution. It is utterly unabashed behavior. The National Assembly Judiciary Committee decided to maintain the court-martial, taking the Ministry’s posture into consideration, while knowing all of the situations. It is inevitable to have misgivings that collection of voices from the civil society and academies was a sheer decoration. Does the lawmakers of the Judiciary Committee believe that eradication of military violence and proper punishment on the responsible figures are possible through such a ragged amendment? The lawmakers, who led this amendment, should be held accountable sincerely before the victims, their bereaved families, and the people. As the history of tragic accidents, organized cover-up, and impunity within the military is ever-lasting, the National Assembly should not again avoid the voices for fundamental institutional reformation. It should not keep the attitude caring only the stance of the military, which is to be reformed, any longer and ignoring the human rights of soldiers. The National Assembly should stop passing the ragged bill and make a determination to abolish the peacetime court-martial. /End.