중앙데일리

Rights commission says Korea massacred lepers

Jan 16,2006
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea announced yesterday it had confirmed massacres in Hansen villages throughout Korea in the late 1940s and 1950s. Its report on the killings, as well as other human rights infringement of leprosy (also called Hansen’s disease) patients, was based on data collected from 51 Hansen villages by Seoul National University professor Jung Geun-sik and his research team.
According to Professor Jung’s team, there were 11 instances of genocide from 1945 to 1957. On the island of Sorokdo, off the coast of South Jeolla province, a massacre that followed a conflict between patients and hospital staff in 1945 resulted in the deaths of 84 patients. In Haman county, South Gyeongsang province, national defense guards and police killed 29 leprosy sufferers on July 1950. In the city of Gangneung, in Gangwon province, a group of lepers were forced into a cave, and grenades were thrown in after them.
From the 1950s to 1980s, leprosy prevention policies forcibly quarantined patients to these villages. Some survivors said, “Until the late 1970s, people who had the disease were captured and put on Sorokdo. Even in the early 1980s, if these patients got married, they were sterilized and not allowed to have children.”
The report also found, from a survey of 647 Hansen’s disease patients conducted last July and August, that a third had been forcibly quarantined, more than 10 percent experienced physical abuse, almost 40 percent had been abandoned by their own families and about 80 percent had contemplated suicide.
The research team said, “The quality of life for leprosy patients needs to be enhanced and this should be enforced by the law.”


by Baek Il-hyun


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장