[EDITORIALS]Kim's human rights regime

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[EDITORIALS]Kim's human rights regime

The National Institute of Scientific Investigation tentatively concluded that a murder suspect who died while being investigated at the Seoul District Prosecutors Office died of shock from a severe beating. In a simple sentence, the prosecution's interrogators may have beaten a murder suspect to death. Hearing this shocking news, we feel betrayed by this administration, because it has promoted itself as a human rights government. We will pay close attention to the prosecution of the interrogators and their superiors.

Those who attended the autopsy of the murder suspect said there were bruises all over his body. That supports the rumors that the suspect was thrown over an interrogator's shoulder and then brutally hit in the groin, hips and knees. We cannot believe the cruelty of the interrogators, because they reportedly awakened the unconscious suspect to hit him again. The prosecution admitted that it used violence, but argued that the beating was not the cause of death of the suspect, even suggesting that the suspect harmed himself.

As of now, three interrogators have been arrested, but the circumstances must be further explained. If any official ordered or abetted the beating, or if false reports were made about the incident, the responsible persons must face criminal prosecution.

The chief of the Seoul District Prosecutors Office has issued an apology and said he will accept any punishment. But it is doubtful if public indignation can be eased without calling the prosecutor general and the justice minister to account.

This government, whenever possible, has stressed the guarantee of human rights. Despite that, monitoring cameras in the interrogation rooms, intended to prevent any unlawful acts during an investigation, were not working. There seems to be an official indifference to such tactics as overnight investigations, abusive words and physical violence to suspects. Some persons claim water torture has been used. Unless the prosecution provides clear explanations and punishes those responsible, the National Human Rights Commission will have to shame the prosecution.
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