Who pays the hostage bill?The crisis of the South Korean hostages in Afghanistan has came to an end after 43 days. However, it is creating a strong aftermath. One issue of debates is whether the government should ask the hostages or their church to pay for the damage. In particular, the government also said it would use the right to indemnity, drawing people’s attention to see how this issue will be resolved.
Some maintain that the hostages must pay the money that the government spent to resolve the crisis. They argue that the hostages must take the responsibility because they ignored the government’s warning not to travel to the area because it is dangerous. This is a valid argument in some aspects. No one can deny that they were careless, even though they did so out of goodwill. Therefore, we believe it is fair to ask them to pay for the damages.
But there must be a limit. Some people wrote on the Internet that the hostages must sell their houses or the church, if need be, to pay for the damages. But this argument cannot be accepted. It doesn’t make sense to charge the hostages or their church the expenses for the trip of government officials who were sent to Afghanistan for negotiations. Protecting its people is the most important duty of a country. If the hostages are charged for these expenses, that will create many problems. If a person does damage to the country with his carelessness, but not with criminal intent, then asked to pay for it, a society cannot be sustained. Let’s say a citizen goes hiking to a place where there is a warning sign not to pass and he gets lost or injured. He calls for emergency help and gets rescued. He cannot be asked to pay for the rescue expenses. The essence of a modern democratic country is that the people carry out their duties, such as paying taxes, and the country protects its people.
The church that sent the aid workers to Afghanistan said it would pay for the flights of the released hostages. It has been reported that the government is examining charging for extra costs, such as the use of a medical helicopter. The issue of indemnity must go no further.
This crisis has been resolved, but these people have felt frustrated and helpless. A fight over indemnity will not help anybody.