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  • » 08/23/2014, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    Sewol activist hospitalized after 40 days of hunger strike



    In the April 16 disaster, Kim Young-oh lost his 17 year old daughter. Since then together with other families of victims he has campaigned for a new law to punish those responsible for the massacre. The man met Pope Francis before the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, and gave him the yellow badge that is their symbol of protest. The pontiff wore it throughout the journey.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - After 40 days of hunger strike for "justice and truth" to shed light on those who are really responsible for the Sewol massacre, Kim Young-oh has been rushed to a hospital in Seoul. The man met Pope Francis in Gwanghwamun Square before the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs (Pictured). Despite doctors who admitted him warning that his condition is "extremely serious", Kim has announced that he will continue his protest. He currently lives on water and sodium pills.

    On 16 April the Sewol ferry bound for the island of Cheju sunk almost 300 people, mostly high school students on a school trip, died in the disaster. The cause of the tragedy is still unknown. Among these was Kim Yu-min (17 years), found dead in the water nine days after the tragedy. According to the victims' families, the Seoul government is trying to cover up the real culprits : the law passed to investigate the incident is judged to be "too soft" and does not include the charges of manslaughter.

    This is why the families began a long campaign of protest in Seoul's main square. Before the arrival of Pope Francis, the police had ordered them to vacate the picket but they resisted. The pontiff, already informed, decided to meet with the protesters before reaching the altar, the morning of August 16 and pinned the yellow ribbon symbol of their protest on his beretta.

     

     

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    See also

    25/02/2015 SOUTH KOREA
    Baptized by the Pope in Korea: 500 kilometers of rosaries and prostration to demand justice for Sewol
    Francis Lee Ho-jin lost his son in the sinking of the ferry in April 2014. Almost a year after the massacre, the government has yet to clarify those responsible for the disaster. Together with his daughter, he is marching on foot from the south of the country to the capital: every three steps, he prostrates himself to ask the population to remember the more than 300 victims. The continuous recitation of the Marian prayer for the repose of the souls.

    13/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Seoul, families of the Sewol victims to remain in Square: "Overjoyed for Pope, but we want justice"
    Standoff between the group together holding a sit-in in Seoul’s central square, and the government that wants to evict them before the beatification ceremony for 124 Korean martyrs. The spokesman for the families tells AsiaNews: "We have nothing against the Pope, the Church, or martyrs. Indeed, we are certain that Francis will bring great comfort to our grief. But we can not abandon our sit-in."

    11/11/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea, Sewol captain sentenced to 36 years in prison
    The courts have found him guilty of "gross negligence" but rejected the charge of murder. All other crew members on trial also condemned. The chief engineer of the ferry that sank last April, gets 30 years in jail. 304 people died in the tragedy, one of the worst accidents in the history of South Korea.

    29/08/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Hundreds of people on hunger strike in Seoul over Sewol disaster
    After 46 days, Kim Young-oh ends his protest in hospital, asks for "help". The response was immediate: in a few hours, 250 people went on a hunger strike in his place. Meanwhile, political leaders seem unable to act. A meeting between political parties and victims' families produced nothing. Card Yeom is criticised for his appeal to stop wasting energy.

    15/05/2014 KOREA
    Hurting over S Korean ferry sinking, Christians and Buddhists hold vigils and prayer to comfort each other
    Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists have set up a camp near the port on Jindo Island not far from where the Sewol ferry sunk with 476 people on board. As families continue to wait for news about those still missing, they find comfort in prayer and listening. The government charges the captain and three officers, whilst the head of the ferry company is holed up at home, surrounded by members of his 'Salvation Sect'.



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