South Korean Human Rights Monitor


Authorities Entering Private Property on Domestic Violence Calls: A Problem?

Soo Yon Suh January 7, 2013

In the early dawn hours of the morning, 5:30 AM KST, in Hampyung Gun Hampyung Eup located in the South Cheolla Province of Korea on January 6, 2013 a 49 year old female, denoted hereafter as Mrs. A, was chained to the barracks of her home by her husband. Police received an emergency call from Mrs. A only uttering the words, “Save me, please” when the phone went dead. With GPS tracking technology the  authorities were able to locate the area and rescue Mrs. A.

Fifty-three year old Mr. B, denoted hereafter as such, alleged that he tied his wife up because her religious commitment was not sincere. Mr. B was arrested on the scene.

This domestic violence incident is causing issue here in Korea, as it touches upon the entering of authorities on private property without an official warrant. Authorities were able to reach Ms. A in time due to a new regulation that was passed recently allowing the entering of authorities into private property in dire emergency situations. Some state that this regulation allows room for human rights infringements such as invading personal privacy. It is argued that due to the fact that Mrs. A did not file an official report, rather stating a few words and hanging up the phone, it did not give police the authority to enter her home.

Previously, unless in the act of committing a crime, authorities were prohibited from entering private property.



About Author

Soo Yon Suh

Soo is currently a program coordinator at the Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF) managing the Asia Democracy Network and HRM. She has been with KRHF since 2010 starting as a research fellow managing and developing the HRM project. Soo grew up in Chicago, Illinois, received her Bachelor's in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master's in Korean for Professionals (NSEP Korean Language Flagship) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. View all posts by Soo Yon Suh →

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!