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Rights head reappointed amid opposition
Rights trade union says 80 percent of country opposes presidential appointmentPresident Lee (left) gave his appointment certificate to Hyun Byung-chul in 2009
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- August 14, 2012
Civic and human rights groups say Hyun Byung-chul limited the NHRCKâ€™s role in watching over government institutions in his first term. Groups also raised allegations of academic plagiarism, real estate speculation and other ethical lapses.
â€śLee intends to ruin the countryâ€™s human rights record for another three years,â€ť said Myoung Sook, coordinator of a coalition of 300 rights groups across the country.
In a statement, the coalition said Hyun had worked to obfuscate the administrationâ€™s rights violations. His reappointment received criticism from opposition parties as well as from within the ruling Saenuri Party.
"I will take the past criticism in a humble way and try my best to run the NHRCK independently," Hyun said Monday.
The president announced in June his intention to reappoint HyunÂ for a three-year tenure, saying his commission had played a leading role in protecting human rights since he was appointed as head in 2009.
"Eighty percent of the nation and even most NHRCK members have opposed the reappointment,â€ť the NHRCKâ€™s trade union said.
The union has asked for Hyun's resignation.
National rights group chief must go: coalition
Group wants greater independence