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Activist, author Shin Young-bok dies at 75

Activist and author Shin Young-bok, a professor at Sungkonghoe University best known for writing “Reflections from Prison,” containing his thoughts while imprisoned during the military-backed government, passed away Friday from skin cancer. He was 75.

Shin was imprisoned for his pro-democracy ideas in 1968, accused of being part of the Tongil Hyeongmyeongdang (Unification Revolution) party. He remained imprisoned for 20 years until he was released through a special pardon on the Aug. 15 Liberation Day holiday. 

(Shin Young-bok website)
(Shin Young-bok website)

After his release he collected his writings and correspondence from his time in prison and released it as “Reflections from Prison” in 1998, becoming one of the icons of the pro-democracy movement of the 1980s. 

Shin is survived by his wife Yoo Yeong-sun and son Ji-yong.

By Won Ho-jung (

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