Report: South Korea Military Govts to Blame for 'Vagrants' Facility' Atrocities

    Photo: AP Photo [via AP News]

    The Facts

    • On Wed., South Korea's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) reported that past military governments were responsible for human rights abuses at the state-funded Brothers Home facility from the 1960s to 1980s.

    • This comes 35 years after the case came to light, when a prosecutor first exposed the atrocities in the infamous facility in Busan.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This is a first and important step in forcing the South Korean government to take responsibility for vast human rights abuses carried out by authorities. Though the past can't be changed, Seoul is showing that it's ready to work with and for the victims as quickly as possible, so that they can finally see the justice they deserve.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The fact that this news has only just come out shows that the government knew of and ignored these human rights abuses long after Brothers closed and the dictatorships fell. The government should not just apologize, but also be forced to compensate any and all victims of this tragedy.

    Cynical narrative

    Unfortunately, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions don't always deliver justice. Forcing victims, who have often moved on with their lives, to relive and "reconcile" wrongs can sometimes lead to amnesties at the cost of mental well being. Governments have also been known to cynically use such commissions to assert their legitimacy by suggesting they've dealt with a painful past. We will have to wait and see what comes of this investigation's results.

    Establishment split



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