Compensation for victims of regime

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Compensation for victims of regime

The Supreme Court ordered the government to give compensation to eight victims who had been detained for violating a 1974 emergency decree proclaimed by the military government of Park Chung Hee, which was ruled unconstitutional by the top court last month, court officials said yesterday.

The decision is the first such case since the court nullified all past rulings made in accordance with the 1974 emergency decree, which banned every public remark critical of the military regime, and allowed those accused of violating the rulings to apply for a retrial. The highest court said that the government has to give 415 million won ($368,900) in compensation for the eight plaintiffs who had been taken into custody for 323 days on charges of violating the emergency decree in 1974.

Their charges were dismissed without state compensation in a retrial in 2009, but the court said that they are eligible to receive compensation based on the recent declaration.

“Because the emergency decree was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, they must have been acquitted,” said the court.

Park, who ruled the nation from 1961-1979 after seizing power in a military coup, declared a national emergency in October 1972 before dissolving the National Assembly, suspending the Constitution and bringing in the so-called Revitalizing Reform, better known as “October Yushin.” He proclaimed a series of presidential emergency decrees, including one in 1974 that empowered him to take extraordinary measures in a time of national crisis and banned all activities opposing or slandering the Yushin Constitution, as well as any press reports on those activities.

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