In a continuing trend of government agencies having no idea how humour on Twitter works, a South Korean activist was arrested last week for ironically retweeting the North Korean government.
Jung-geun Park was charged under a South Korean policy called the National Security Law that bans nebulously-defined “acts that benefit the enemy.” Except he was actually making fun of the enemy. That’s him imposing his face and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label on a North Korean propaganda poster.
Funny and preposterous as it may be, this incident also comes with a darker overtone: the National Security Law has in the past been used as a hammer to crush political dissidents. When the government has leeway to make “aiding the enemy” mean anything it wants it to mean, it’s easy to twist the actions of a a political annoyance into something more sinister and tortureable. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that over a misinterpreted Kim Jong-un Nyan Cat tweet. [New York Times via BoingBoing]
Original image: Park Jung-geun/New York Times