South Korea has retreated from some of the democratic reforms it pledged prior to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the U.S.-based human rights organization Asia Watch says.

Despite promises, South Korea "continues to deny the fundamental rights of workers, labor organizations, writers, publishers, opposition leaders and others," Asia Watch said in a 100-page report released during the weekend.The report, titled "Retreat from Reform," focused on curbs against freedom of expression and worker rights. It said about half of South Korea's more than 1,000 political prisoners are workers and labor organizers.