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NHRC recommended to extend the Truth Commission (10-29-2002)

  • 2002-12-20
  • 1634

NHRC recommended the National Assembly and party leaders to extend the Commission on Suspicious Deaths(10-29-2002)


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC, president, Kim Chang-Kuk) yesterday recommended to the speaker of the National Assembly and the heads of the major parties to revise laws in order to allow the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths (the Truth Commission) to extend its operation and grant it greater investigative authority.

 

The NHRC recommended that legislators revise the Special Act on the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths after investigating the complaint filed by Heo Young-Chun (62 years-old, father of a victim, Private First Class Heo Won-Geun) against the National Assembly.


The NHRC claimed that although the Truth Commission has already finished its session (
Sept. 16 2002), it has not yet fulfilled the original purpose for which the Truth Commission was established: to restore the honor of people who have died suspiciously. The Truth Commission could not investigate the truth of 30 cases among a total of 83 cases from Oct. 2000 up last month.

 

The NHRC also demanded that the Truth Commission be granted mandatory investigative authority and an extension period for activities, which are essential to secure evidence.


The Truth Commission had been "under fire" regarding its investigations,   uncooperative respondents and institutions, because most of the questionable deaths of dissidents and ordinary citizens occurred during the military dictatorships, and there has been systematic attempts to manipulate and cover up evidence.


Since many unresolved cases still pending, the NHRC called on the Assembly to repeal Article 23 of the Special Act on the Truth Commission that mandated the Truth Commission to cease operation as of Sept. 16. 2002.


The NHRC expressed its regret that a number of cases of suspicious deaths, that governmental agencies committed, have been covered up. In addition, the NHRC mentioned that we should reflect on history of authoritarian regimes, which used to show disrespect for human lives and used to violate human rights in order to create or establish the regime.

 

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