Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The South Korean government "has to compensate hundreds of lepers, castrated or forced to undergo abortions for decades by the authorities”. This is the ruling in a judgment handed down on 20 May by a court in Seoul that has agreed with a group of 130 people suffering from Hansen's disease (technical name for leprosy) and detained on the orders of the government in real life prison camps .
The South Korean authorities began this barbaric practice in 1937, when the country was under Japanese occupation. However, despite achieving independence in 1945, Seoul continued the practice since 1948. The first to undergo this savagery were some inhabitants of the island of Sorok.
Subsequently, the decision to force the lepers to undergo castration and abortion spread throughout the country, right up until the 1990’s. Despite the apology of successive governments the executive has never granted any compensation to the victims, who ultimately have turned to the courts.
According to Judge Kim Jong-won, who issued the ruling, Seoul must pay 40 million won (about 36 thousand dollars) to all applicants: "The government has instilled in these people a sense of inferiority and social inequality. This case is quite contrary to the common sense of humanity. "