Hanshin University Controversy: Uzbekistan Students Forced to Leave Korea

2023-12-13 21:00:15

Uzbekistan students who attended the Korean language school affiliated with Hanshin University are moving from Incheon International Airport under the surveillance of faculty and security company employees on November 27. Video capture provided by Hanshin University

It was confirmed that Hanshin University had faculty and security staff accompany the 22 Uzbekistan students to the boarding gate while forcing them to leave the country. In order to prevent possible resistance or departure from international students, surveillance and control personnel were sent to places where only those who purchased airline tickets in their own names could enter. In this process, Hanshin University used the expedient method of purchasing and then canceling airline tickets for 16 people, including faculty, interpreters, and security staff, who would not even be on the plane. The entire situation contradicts the school’s explanation that the students left the country voluntarily. According to Hankyoreh coverage on the 14th, Hanshin University bought 16 tickets for a direct flight to Singapore departing at 4:20 pm on November 27, but canceled it. The 16 tickets were in the names of Hanshin University faculty and staff, security company employees, and Uzbekistan interpreters. They entered the departure hall with Uzbekistan students using the purchased airplane tickets, and accompanied them to the boarding gate of the Tashkent-bound flight that had been reserved in advance in the students’ names. It was not just a simple guide or guidance in that he was accompanied not only by faculty but also by about 10 security staff. They did not leave the scene until the moment all 22 Uzbekistan students boarded the flight to Tashkent departing at 4:40. They left the departure hall at 5:51 p.m., about an hour after the plane took off, after going through the reverse process (a person who entered the departure hall after completing departure procedures returns to the departure hall). A video taken by an Uzbek student in front of the actual boarding gate clearly shows security company employees dressed in black watching the students board the plane. A woman who appears to be an employee of a security company also appears instructing students to “stand in a single line.” An Uzbekistan student who did not want to be named told the Hankyoreh, “If we really left the country voluntarily, why would security company employees follow us to the boarding gate? “The school is blatantly lying,” she said.

Uzbekistan students from Hanshin University’s language school board a bus heading to Incheon International Airport on November 27. Video capture provided by Hanshin University

There is also a situation where Hanshin University tried to hide the fact that faculty and security company employees followed them to the departure hall. Previously, Hanshin University provided a video of the students’ departure process to the Hankyoreh and the Uzbekistan Embassy in Korea. The video only shows the students entering the country for departure screening, and the scene where faculty and security company employees follow them to the boarding gate and monitor the students. was not included. Hanshin University deleted the scene of him threatening “you could go to jail” on the bus going to the airport and the scene of him collecting a cell phone and then provided the video to the media and embassy. Previously, on the afternoon of the 12th, when the Hankyoreh’s related report came out, Hanshin University posted a notice on the university’s website titled ‘School’s position on articles related to language school students leaving the country’ and stated, “There was no act of oppression during the departure process.” “The decision to leave the country was left to the students’ discretion, and some students actually did not return,” he said, adding that the students’ departure was voluntary. Reporter Junhee Lee [email protected] Reporter Seungwook Lee [email protected]
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