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Catholic group supports Egypt protests

Foundation says uprising mirrors Korean battle for democracy 30 years ago

Egyptian police suppress a people’s demonstration for democracy (Photo courtesy of Gwangju Human Rights and Peace Foundation) Egyptian police suppress a people’s demonstration for democracy (Photo courtesy of Gwangju Human Rights and Peace Foundation)
  • John Choi, Seoul
  • Korea
  • February 1, 2011
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A Catholic peace foundation established to commemorate a democratic uprising in a Korean city 30 years ago says it feels a sense of brotherhood with Egyptian protesters and is supporting them in their fight for democracy.

The Gwangju Human Rights and Peace Foundation is currently keeping people informed of the present situation in Egypt by posting photos and articles from an Egyptian activist in its website.

“We support the Egyptian people’s efforts for democracy and pray there are no further sacrifices in the pursuit of it,” Augustine Kim Yang-rae, secretary general of the foundation, said today.

Kim is posting the photos and articles received through the social networking site Facebook from a friend in Egypt.

“The Egyptian government has cut Internet access, so we cannot contact him anymore. However, we will express our support for Egyptians to him when the connection is restored,” Kim said.

The huge demonstrations over the past week have posed the most serious threat to President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for three decades

Media reports give varying death tolls, but it’s believed at least 100 people have been killed.

“The situation in Egypt is similar to that in Gwangju 30 years ago. People are now experiencing pain, we hope they can endure the pain and achieve democratization of Egypt,” Kim told ucanews.com.

“If the Egyptian government applies further suppression, we will apply pressure by providing solidarity with other groups. We also plan to raise funds for Egyptians who need our help,” he added.

The Gwangju Human Rights and Peace Foundation was established last August to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, an uprising in Gwangju against the country’s military rule that was crushed by the army.

According to official government figures, 191 demonstrators were killed in the uprising, but an unofficial total puts the number as high as 2,000.

 

Related report
Kwangju backs all fighters against oppression

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