One of the most important human rights issue in South Korea continues to be the National Security Law, which is used arbitrarily to curtail the right to freedom of expression and association, providing long sentences or the death penalty for loosely defined 'anti-state' activities.
Despite Amnesty International's continuous urgings over the years to abolish/reform the law according to international standards, there has yet to be any change. In 2010, 34 people were charged under the NSL. There were also 696 conscientious objectors (mostly Jehovah's Witnesses) in prison for refusing to perform compulsory military service at the end of 2010. Journalists, bloggers and protesters continue to be arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression.