08/23/2014, 00.00
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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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