SOUTH KOREA. EXECUTED FOR TREASON, ACTIVISTS ARE POSTHUMOUSLY ACQUITTED
January 23, 2007: eight pro-democracy activists were posthumously acquitted of treason charges, more than 30 years after they were executed. The Seoul Central District Court said the activists were not guilty of forming an underground party aiming to overthrow the authoritarian regime.
The eight were hanged on conviction of treason in April 1975.
They were among 23 college students and activists arrested for rebellion under the anti-communist National Security Law, which was used as a tool to crack down on dissidents. The execution was carried out just 20 hours after a court handed over the death sentence.
In December 2005 a Seoul court ordered a retrial of the case after a government commission discovered that the victims were tortured into making false confessions. Families of the victims had demanded a retrial for years, claiming that the case was fabricated by the country's state anti-espionage agency. (Sources: Korea Times, 23/01/2007)