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남녘 | Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(8)

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작성자 편집국 작성일17-12-14 11:37 댓글0건


Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(8)


VAnalysis of Verified Cases(4) 





Analysis of Verified Case(4)




The 1980 Sabuk Case of Human Rights Infringement - Verified on April 8, 2008

The Sabuk case refers to the outbreak of violence during a miners' protest strike in Sanbuk, Gangwon Province in 1980. The dispute began when miners complained of poor working conditions. After a police car traffic incident, the strike escalated into a battle between police officers and protestors.

The Dongwon Corporation, the largest domestic mining company, experienced rapid growth from the 1960s to 1970s due to government support and a low cost mining policy. Miners however suffered from low wages, unsafe working conditions, abusive management practices, and poor union representation. These problems culminated into a labor strike. While protestors directed their anger at the Dongwon Corporation, they also criticized union management for allowing such conditions to proliferate.

On April 21, 1980 a police vehicle injured a group of protestors after colliding into them. The police officers, rather than offering assistance, fled the scene. This incident, along with the frustrations stemming from the labor dispute, exacerbated the tensions felt by the protestors. They responded by destroying the Dongwon Corporation's Sabuk office and assaulting company executives, including the union leader's wife, who



was beaten after the protestors failed to locate her husband.

On April 22, police officers arrived to suppress the demonstration but were met with resistance. Protestors threw rocks and other objects at them killing one officer and injuring 70 others. Local residents tried to prevent further casualties by sending injured police officers to the hospital. Some miners organized patrol parties to maintain the peace and prevent crime. They also protected the local armory to prevent the flow of weapons and explosives from entering the demonstrations.

According to the Truth Commission investigation results, the president of the tripartite commission announced a peaceful resolution on April 24, three days after the incident began. The Martial Law Enforcement Headquarters (MLEH) however investigated the case and detained 200 miners and local residents on suspicion of instigating group demonstrations, assaulting police officers, and assaulting the wife of the local union leader.

The MLEH investigators, composed of national and military police officers, employed torture and beatings to exact confessions. These tactics were not limited to men. Approximately 40-50 women, including pregnant women, were sexually assaulted resulting in miscarriages and psychological trauma. Among 81 suspects, 32 were indicted for a lynching incident and assaulting a police officer. Because of the Constitution for Revitalizing Reform and the Special Law on National Security, the laborers' rights were limited. Furthermore, the labor union failed to perform its normal function of defending the interests of its members. The government's labor administration, management, and welfare measures also lacked the proper human resources and budget to be effective.

Those accused and later released were still closely monitored and suffered limited employment opportunities. Despite the MLEH's instructions for employers to reinstate them, many were forced to retire early. The accused were essentially blacklisted after being investigated even though the MLEH had a reputation of detaining people without adequate evidence. Besides inflicting damage on individuals, the investigations destroyed community trust. The forced confessions often resulted in innocent people accusing one another to avoid torture.

The events in Sabuk also affected the nation. After organizing a coup d'etat on December 12, 1979, the new military authorities led by Chun Doo-Hwan regarded the demonstration in Sabuk as an opportunity to justify the use of martial law. During an emergency meeting on April 30, 1980, the military attempted to eliminate the threat of expanding democratic aspirations. While the Sabuk case, labor strikes, and educational institutions represented these aspirations, the military authorities denounced them as instigators of “confusion, disorder and injustice” and declared that there should be “stern action against these unlawful acts”.

For the Sabuk case, the Commission recommended that the government formally apologize to the victims for violating their human and civil rights and inflicting physical and psychological trauma. The government should also offer compensation and take necessary measures to ensure reconciliation with the victims. For the wife of the union manager, it was recommended that the government offer psychological counseling to treat any traumatic effects suffered from the assault and to reconcile with those involved in the incident.


The Case of Compulsory Labor on Public Land Development - Verified on March 11, 2008



Petitioners, Seo Soo-Chang (16 years old and in 11th grade at the time), Shin Soo-Hyun (27 years old and engaged in commerce at the time), and Hwang Joong-Min (19 years old and unemployed at the time), requested a truth verification at the Commission. They alleged that in Jeollanam Province, they were assaulted by police officers of the Wando Police Station without legal cause in June 1961. They testified to the Commission that after they were confined to a detention center they were relocated to a highway expansion construction site. They remained at this location for 140 days from June 20 to November 10, 1961.

The Commission verified the truth on the basis of data from an outline of national land development, building development rules on national land, a history of the Korean army revolution, and interviews with the petitioners and the police officers who were present at the time. On March 11, the Commission released their decision on the verification of the truth. The result of investigation disclosed that the military regime restrained and forced thousands of people nation wide, including the petitioners, to compulsorily work in order to development. Furthermore, it was verified that they were physically assaulted while being transported to the police station for investigation.

Lee, a police officer, confessed to the assault, and Seo Soo-Chang stated that he witnessed Hwang Joong-Min being hit in the detention house at the police station. The government actions violated the principle of proper legal process by forcing them to work on public land development construction sites. In addition, the repeated instances of illegal forced labor by military authorities have important historical implications in terms of establishing measures to protect human rights. The Commission recommended an official government apology for infringing on the victims' human rights as well as their civil liberties.


The YH Labor Union Leader Kim Gyeong-Suk’s Suspicious Death Case - Verified on March 11, 2008

Choi Soon-Young (the former Chief of the YH Trade Union and a National Assembly member of the Democratic Labor Party from 2004 to 2008) petitioned for an investigation into the suspicious death of Kim Gyeong-Suk and the government's illegal use of power against the YH Labor Union in 1979. On August 9, 1979, the YH Trading Company president announced the company's closure and fired 187 female employees. The YH Labor Union appealed to the Sinmin (New Democratic) Party, the main opposition party to Park Chung-Hee's administration, to prevent the closure. On the fourth floor of the Sinmin Party building, the union members initiated a sit-in demonstration.

At 10:00 a.m. on August 10th, as confirmed by the Truth Commission, the Chief of the Secretary's Office of Cheongwadae (Presidential Office) organized a joint meeting with the Director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency and the Minister of Public Administration and Security to discuss possible solutions. Afterwards, they reported on the situation to President Park Chung-Hee. In order to regain control and suppress the resistance, the President approved the use of police officers to forcefully disperse the demonstration. The decision was implemented at approximately 2:00 a.m. on August 11th.

The incident resulted in the death of one union member, Kim Gyeong-Suk.

According to the Police, Kim died in the following manner:

She severed her artery 30 minutes before the strike dispersion



operation began and committed suicide after plunging from the fourth floor window overlooking a parking lot in the rear of the Sinmin Party building.

The Commission found no mark to indicate that she cut her artery. Instead, they discovered a fatal laceration on the back of her head caused by being struck with an object, possibly a circular pipe. The investigation also found that the unit assigned to disperse the demonstration used illegal tools in the supprestion of protestors, such as bricks, iron pipes, and chairs, rather than riot batons. Approximately one hundred people, including female employees, executive staff members, Sinmin Party members, and reporters, suffered injuries.

While it has been suspected that the laceration sustained by Kim resulted from her striking an object as she fell, no object in the area existed that could have produced such an injury at the time of her death. Thus it is highly probably, judging by the angle and location of the laceration, that an unknown person struck Kim on the backside of her head before she fell from the fourth floor.

Her exact time of death and the cause of her fall were also inconsistent. On August 11th and 12th, police reported that Kim fell during the forced dispersion, but on August 13th the report changed and declared that she committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor at 1:30 am, which was before the initiation of the operation, according to testimonials from her colleagues, the initial medical examiner, and the postmortem examiner.

In the “Related Case Outline of the Autopsy Request,” written by the Mapo Police Office, they reported the time of her fall to be 2:03 am on August 11, 1979, well after the forced dispersion began. At the time, Kim's colleagues denied this but no related investigation report was recorded. A reexamination of the NISI (National Institute of Scientific Investigation) and Seoul National University Legal Medicine Department's autopsy reports disclosed that the NISI's estimation of her time of death was groundless.

A police officer identified as Mr. Bae was the first to discover Kim and send her to the hospital. He went to the area after hearing someone yell, “A person is falling,” immediately after the initiation of the operation. Riot police, the chief of accidental death cases, and the information department's detectives offered similar statements. Mr. Bae also stated that the incident occurred when plain-clothed police officers, the first unit to enter the hall, arrived.

Besides her time of death, the location she landed was also disputed. According to data from a group of Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) reporters present during the incident, and from police officers' testimonials, Kim actually landed at the bottom of the emergency staircase, not near the basement entrance as originally recorded by police reports.

The Commission also analyzed a variety of information, such as Kim's autopsy report at the NISI, photos of the Sinmin Party building, and the Presidential Office's protocol records. Autopsy reports requested from the NISI and Seoul Nat'l University Legal Medicine Department were reanalyzed. Investigators conducted interviews on 70 people, including the Chief of the Secretary's Office, the Minister of Public Administration and Security, and a transport police officer who served at the time of Kim's death.

In the aftermath, the YH Union members experienced limited employment opportunities and continual scrutiny from the state due to their involvement in the



demonstration. For the government, their oppressive response to the demonstration, coupled with President Park Chung-Hee's illegal expulsion of Sinmin Party President Kim Young-Sam from the National Assembly further strengthened the people's resistance and aspirations for democracy. These actions served as a catalyst for a series of protests that followed.


The Falsified Espionage Charge against Yang Jun-Ho - Verified on November 27, 2007

Yang Jun-Ho was accused of collecting classified military information and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. During his probation, after serving seven years of his prison term, Yang appealed for truth verification. The Commission found that Yang was illegally confined and tortured during the interrogations. The Commission verified the petition was as true, and the government was advised to officially apologize and restore the honor of the victim and hold a retrial.


The Fabricated Espionage Charge against Seo Chang-Deok - Verified on November 27, 2007

In 1967, Seo Chang-Deok was abducted by the North Korean Coast Guard while fishing near Yeonpyung-do and was later returned to South Korea. Seventeen years after the abduction, Seo was accused of being an informant for North Korea and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. The Commission found that Seo was illegally detained and tortured while being interrogated by the Jeonju Security Forces. This resulted in Seo’s false confession. The Commission recommended that the government officially apologize, restore the honor of the victim, and a hold retrial.


The Suspicious Death of Wi Cheong-Ryong, the Director of the Prosecution Bureau of the Ministry of Justice - Partially Verified on November 20, 2007

In late November 1961, the Director of the Prosecution Bureau, Wi Cheong-Ryong, was taken to a KCIA investigation cell located in Goyang-gun and kept for twenty days. Wi was accused of espionage and found dead around noon on December 24, 1961. Seventeen days later, Lee Hu-Rak, a publicist chief of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, announced, "Wi Cheong-Ryong committed suicide right after his espionage charges were revealed."

The petition regarding Wi Cheong-Ryong’s suspicious death was filed at truth verification on December 12, 2005. The Commission was unable to determine if the state engaged in human rights abuses but confirmed that convicting Wi on an espionage charge without concrete evidence violated the rules of evidence. The Commission ascertained that the petition was partially verified and recommended that the government officially apologize and invalidate the relevant records in accordance with the findings.


The Fabricated Forgery Charge against Kang Ki-Hoon - Verified on November 13, 2007 During the Roh Tae-Woo administration (1988-92), self-immolation became a frequent practice to protest against the government. When Kim Ki-Seol immolated himself in May 1991, he left a note stating that his death was for democracy and demanded the resignation of President Roh. In order to undermine any negative effects this may have had on the government and suppress the student demonstrations, the prosecutors investigated Kim’s fellow associates in order to find a possible suspect they



could falsely charge for forging the note. Kang Ki-Hoon became the prime suspect and was convicted of forgery. The Commission found that Kang Ki-Hoon's handwriting did not match the writing on the note and that Kim Ki-Seoul wrote the note himself. The Commission recommended that the government officially apologize and hold a retrial.


The Martial Court’s Abuse of Power in the Oh Jong-Sang Case - Verified on October 30, 2007

On May 17, 1974, KCIA officers arrested Oh Jong-Sang after he voiced criticism of the government’s policies to a highschool student. Oh was imprisoned for a week at the KCIA building before receiving a seven year prison sentence from the Emergency Martial Court. He appealed his case to the High Court and his prison sentenced was reduced to three years.

Oh then appealed to the Supreme Court, but it upheld the High Court’s decision of a three year prison term. The Commission investigation began on July 10, 2007 and concluded on October 30, 2007. The Commission found that the Emergency High Martial Court abused its power and authority by fabricating information against Oh Jong-Sang. The commission recommended that the government offer an apology, hold a retrial, and offer restitution.

The Falsification of an Espionage Charge against Jo Bong-Am - Verified  on  September 18, 2007 Jo Bong-Am, the leader of the Progressive Party (JinBo in Korean) and a rising politician, earned over two million votes more than Syngman Rhee during the presidential election held on May 15, 1956 and quickly became a threat to Rhee’s government. Jo and several senior staff members were soon arrested and interrogated after being accused of conspiring to commit treason.

The Korean Special Forces detained them before they were summarily executed. The commission found that the Special Forces’ detainment of Jo was illegal and violated the rules of evidence. The Commission recommended that the government officially apologize, hold a retrial, and restore the honor of the dead.


The OSonghoe Incident - Verified on July 3, 2007

Lee Gwang-Ung, a teacher at Kunsan Jeil Secondary School, and eight other personnel were accused of founding an anti-national organization named OSonghoe, which praised communism and conspiring to commit treachery. Lee and the others were arrested and convicted at the Jeonju Provincial Court on May 24, 1983. His appeals to the Seoul High Court and the Supreme Court on July 28 and December 27 of that same year were unsuccessful.

The Commission found however that the petitioners were illegally detained and tortured during the interrogations at the Jeonbuk Provincial Police Station. The Commission ascertained that the findings met the prerequisites for a retrial since the rules of evidence were violated. The Commission also advised the government to officially apologize and hold a retrial.


The Aram-hoe Incident - Verified on July 3, 2007

A total of eleven residents of Geumsan and Daejon held regular meetings between May 1980 and July 1981. The participants included a teacher, student, salary man, soldier, housewife, et al., all of whom knew one another from their school days. They were taken to the Daejon Police Office and arrested soon after their arrival on charges of holding



inappropriate gatherings and engaging in traitorous conversations.

They were accused of violating the National Security Law by constituting a treasonous organization and praising the enemies of the nation. They received punishments ranging from a maximum of ten years of imprisonment to probation. The commission found that the investigative organizations involved, including the Chungcheongnam Provincial Police Station, illegally confined, tortured, and improperly charged the victims without sufficient evidence. The Commission recommended that the government hold a retrial and offer an official apology to the victims.


The Fabrication of an Espionage Charge against Seok Dal-Yun - Verified on June 26, 2007

The accused, Kim Jeong-In, Seok Dal-Yun, Park Gong-Shim, et al., are all relatives or close friends of Park Yang-Min, who was exiled to North Korea during the Korean War. The accused were charged with engaging in espionage and collaborating with North Korea. Kim Jeong-In was sentenced to death, and Seok Dal-Yun was given a lifetime sentence. Seok Dal-Yun and two other petitioners appealed for truth verification in regards to this incident. The Commission found that the accused were illegally detained and tortured at the KCIA. The Commission advised the government to officially apologize and hold a retrial.


The Fabricated Espionage Case of Kang Dae-Gwang - Verified on June 19, 2007

In July 1968, Kang Dae-Gwang, a fisherman, was kidnapped while fishing. He was taken to North Korea and repatriated to South Korea four months later. In 1978, ten years after his return, the South Korean authorities imprisoned him on an espionage charge. Five of his friends were also imprisoned, for failing to report a North Korean spy to the South Korean government. Kang received a ten-year prison sentence while his friends each received three-year sentences. The Commission found that the government illegally detained Kang and his friends and used torture tactics to elicit false confessions from them. The Commission recommended that the government offer an apology and hold a retrial.


The Fabricated Espionage Case of Cha Pung-Gil - Verified on June 19, 2007

Cha Pung-Gil traveled to Japan after receiving an invitation from his father. He worked for a Japanese firm from June 1976 to March 1979. On August 7, 1982, he was taken to the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP) for interrogation and was illegally detained for over 66 days. During the interrogation, authorities coerced Cha into falsely confessing that he was a North Korean spy. Based on his confession, he received a ten-year prison sentence. The Commission verified that Cha was illegally detained for interrogation and therefore should have been granted a new trial. The Commission also found that the NPA interrogators violated Cha’s rights by using abusive tactics during the interrogation process.


The Forced Relinquishment of Buil Scholarship Association Property - Verified on May 29, 2007

A petitioner appealed for truth verification for the forced relinquishment of Kim Ji-Tae’s property in 1961. The property included stocks and investments in the Busan Daily Corporation, Busan Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, and Korea Munhwa



Broadcasting Corporation, and real estate from the Buil Scholarship Association.

On May 16, 1961, General Park Chung-Hee seized power of the government after leading a military coup. He asked for financial support from Kim Ji-Tae. When Kim declined, the military junta imprisoned him. According to the petitioner's testimony, the junta released him without punishment after he relinquished his property to the government. After the investigation, the Commission found that the military junta abused and unjustly exercised its power by forcing Kim Ji-Tae and the Buil Scholarship Association to relinquish their property. The Commission recommended that the government offer an apology and compensate the victims for the damages.


The Falsification of an Espionage Charge against Lee Soo-Keun - Verified on December 19, 2006

Lee Soo-Keun, the former vice president of the Korean Central News Agency in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was exiled to the Republic of Korea through the Demilitarized Zone on March 22, 1967. Lee then worked as an analyst at the KCIA until he was caught by KCIA agents en route to Cambodia with forged passports on January 27, 1969. After returning to South Korea, Lee was charged with violating the National Security Law and the Anti-communist Law by secretly collecting classified information and taking it out of the country. A death sentence was imposed on Lee on May 10, 1969, and he was executed two months later on July 2.

The Commission ascertained that the KCIA illegally confined Lee, thereby meeting prerequisites for a retrial in accordance with provision 7 under Article 420 and Article 422 of the Criminal Law. The Commission also stated that Lee’s illegal confinement during interrogation and the prosecution’s sole reliance on the defendant’s statements violated the rules of evidence. The Commission recommended that the government officially apologize, subsequently restoring honor to the dead.


The Taeyoungho Abduction - Verified on December 5, 2006

Five petitioners filed for truth verification for an abduction case involving the crew of the Taeyoungho, a fishing vessel. The crew was captured by the North Korean Coast Guard while fishing on the North Korean side of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Shortly after returning from a four month detention in North Korea, the South Korean authorities convicted them of violating the Anti-communist Law.

The Commission found that the Buan Police Office illegally confined and tortured the crew during interrogation. The violation of their rights therefore necessitates a retrial. Additionally, the Commission verified that the abductees’ espionage charge was falsified. The prosecution, lacking sufficient evidence, failed to abide by human rights and by the rules of evidence. The Commission recommended the government to officially apologize to the victims and hold a retrial in accordance with the findings.


The Falsification of an Espionage Charge against Jo Yong-Su - Verified on November 28, 2006

Jo Yong-Su, founder of the progressive newspaper, the Minjok Daily, was sentenced to death after being accused of treason after the May 18 Coup led by Park Chung-Hee. Jo and seven others were executed on Dec. 21, 1961. The commission ascertained that they were illegally detained at the Joint Investigation Bureau, which violated the rules of evidence, and therefore they should have been granted a retrial. The



commission recommended that the government officially apologize to the victims and hold a retrial based on the findings.


The Torture Case of Kim Ik-Hwans' Family - Verified on November 28, 2006

A petitioner appealed for truth verification for the KCIA’s arrest in September 1971 of three of Kim Ik-Hwans' family members on espionage charges. The three victims were later released after being tortured and interrogated. The commission verified that the Kim family was illegally arrested, detained, and tortured. The Commission recommended that the government offer an apology and medical care to the victims to treat long-term injuries sustained from the incident.


The Fabricated Espionage Case of Kim Gi-Sam - Verified on July 4, 2006

In December 1980, Kim Gi-Sam was taken to the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP) for interrogation on an espionage charge. He remained in detention until a court sentenced him to seven years in prison in November 1981. In November 1983, he appealed the case, but it was rejected. He filed a petition with the Commission stating that he was wrongly accused and imprisoned. The Commission found that the government violated Kim’s rights by illegally detaining him at the NSP. A retrial therefore should be granted. On February 12, 2008, the Commission found that the NSP fabricated the truth by torturing Kim until he gave a false confession. The original judgment passed by the court is thereby invalid. The commission in this case recommended that the government offer an apology and hold a retrial.


The Falsified Espionage Charges against Shin Gui-Young - Verified on January 10, 2006

Shin Gui-Young was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment for allegedly collecting classified military information after receiving an order from Shin Soo-Young, a senior member of the Chosen Soren in Japan. Shin Gui-Young was convicted in the Busan District Court in 1980 and released after serving his full prison term. The Commission ascertained that the enforced confinement and torture inflicted upon Shin violated the right against torture and the rules of evidence. The Commission recommended that the government offer an official apology and hold a retrial in accordance with the findings.


(to be continued)





Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(7) Analysis of Verified Cases(3) 

Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(6) Analysis of Verified Cases(2) 

►Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(5) Analysis of Verified Cases(1)

 Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(4) Extra-Investigation Activities

Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(3) Procedure for Investigation

Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(2) Introduction to the commission

►Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years (1) I. Historical Background of Korea's Past Settlement 


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