S. Korea hu­man rights body urges probe of abuse of va­grants

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

A SOUTH Korean com­mis­sion on Thurs­day urged law­mak­ers to in­ves­ti­gate the en­slave­ment and mis­treat­ment of thou­sands of peo­ple at a va­grants’ fa­cil­ity dur­ing the 1970s and ‘80s.

The coun­try’s dic­ta­tors or­dered roundups to “pu­rify” the streets, send­ing the home­less, dis­abled and chil­dren to fa­cil­i­ties where they were de­tained and forced to work.

No one has been held ac­count­able for the hun­dreds of deaths, rapes and beat­ings The As­so­ci­ated Press doc­u­mented at the now-closed Broth­ers Home, a huge moun­tain­side com­pound in the port city of Bu­san that had the largest of dozens of those fa­cil­i­ties. The AP re­port in 2016 was based on hun­dreds of ex­clu­sive doc­u­ments and dozens of in­ter­views with of­fi­cials and for­mer de­tainees.

The Na­tional Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion on Thurs­day rec­om­mended law­mak­ers pass a spe­cial law to ini­ti­ate an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and also called for the gov­ern­ment to sign and rat­ify a United Na­tions con­ven­tion against forced dis­ap­pear­ance.

Many if not most of the Broth­ers in­mates were brought to the fa­cil­ity by po­lice and city of­fi­cials amid ag­gres­sive drives by Seoul’s then-mil­i­tary lead­ers to beau­tify city streets by re­mov­ing un­de­sir­ables as they pre­pared to bid for and host the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Many for­mer in­mates say there were held at Broth­ers with­out the knowl­edge of their fam­i­lies, claims backed by gov­ern­ment and po­lice records that show au­thor­i­ties ex­er­cised lit­tle dis­cre­tion in whom they chose to con­fine at Broth­ers.

At the time, of­fi­cials jus­ti­fied the con­fine­ments by a 1975 gov­ern­ment di­rec­tive that in­structed po­lice and lo­cal of­fi­cials to round up va­grants. How­ever, the com­mis­sion on Thurs­day said that even un­der the le­gal stan­dards of those times, the gov­ern­ment clearly failed to pro­tect the fun­da­men­tal rights of in­mates be­cause the di­rec­tive was in vi­o­la­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion.

Broth­ers was shut down months af­ter a prose­cu­tor ex­posed the fa­cil­ity in early 1987.

The for­mer prose­cu­tor, Kim Yong Won, who now runs a Seoul law firm, told the AP that high-rank­ing of­fi­cials blocked his in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in part out of fear over an em­bar­rass­ing in­ter­na­tional in­ci­dent on the eve of the Olympics. Kim wasn’t able to in­dict the owner of Broth­ers, Park In-keun, or any­one else for the wide­spread abuse at the Bu­san com­pound and was left to pur­sue much nar­rower charges linked to em­bez­zle­ment and con­struc­tion law vi­o­la­tions.

Park served 2 ½ years in prison and con­tin­ued to earn money from wel­fare fa­cil­i­ties and land sales be­fore his death last year. – AP

Amara­pura-sagaing­mony­war-phow­in­taung­inwa Trip. 5Day/4night Trip: de­part on 12 May & 26 May. 243 USD Per Per­son all in­clu­sive. Places to visit: U Bein Bridge, Ma­har Gandary­one Monastery , Sa­gaing Hill, Kaung Mu Daw Stupa, Maha Bawdi, world high­est bud­dha im­age, 0DJQL¿FHQW 7KDQERGGD\ Pagoda, pho­to­stop at Chind­win River, Amaz­ing Phow­in­taung Sand­stone Caves, Shwe Ba Sand­stone Cave, Inwa Acient City. Price In­clude: 2 Night stay at 3 stars Ho­tel, air-con coach, En­trance fees, Li­censed English Speak­ing Guide, Com­pli­men­tary Drink­ing Wa­ter. Pls con­tact to 09420187684

SWE Daw City, Min­galar­don town­ship, room for rent. 1000 VTIW WK ÀRRU XVG month. 1 dou­ble bed, 1 sin­gle bed, 2 bath­rooms, liv­ing and din­ing ar­eas, fully fur­nished. Please con­tact 09978963358 for en­quiry. SHWE Hnin Zi road. Mayan­gone town­ship.9 mile. 2500~3000US$ per month. Ph: 095005374 (1) KABA AYE Pagoda Rd, (5 FL) 1450 sqft, 1MB, 2BR, (Lift) (F.F) Apart­ment, US$ 2000. Call owner: 09421076111. (2) New Un­ver­sity Ave Rd, Ba­han, 1250 sqft (2F), 2MB, 1BR, Apart­ment for rent US$ 1200, Call owner: 09-4210-76111. (3) New Uni­ver­sity Ave

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.