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Archive for August 8th, 2017

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Samsung victims and SHARPS activists were attacked and verbally abused by tens of far-right thugs as they submitted a petition to the court calling for a punishment to fit the crimes of Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd.

On Aug. 7, the special prosecutors demanded 12 years in jail for Lee.  The heir apparent of the world’s largest technology company was arrested in Feb. 2016, on five accounts of bribery and influence-peddling.  The charges center on about $37 million in bribes and gifts he paid Choi Soon-sil, the shamanic confidante of President Park Geun-hye who was impeached early this year.

Bribes

The charges largely stem from the National Pension Service’s vote in favor of a controversial merger in 2015 between two Samsung affiliates that cemented Lee’s control of Samsung Electronics.  The merger cost the public’s retirement fund KRW 346.8 billion ($302 million), even according to the NPS’s own estimates. 

The Trial of The Century

The courtroom of Lee’s trial, dubbed the “trial of the century” by Korean media, is often filled by Samsung employees and hard-core supporters of Park, making it hard for SHARPS and Samsung victims to get their seats.

Attack

On Aug. 7, it was these far-rightists that attacked Han Hye-kyung, a 39-year-old wheelchair-bound victim of the Samsung blood-disorder cluster, and her mother, Kim Si-nyeo, 60 years old, as they submitted the petition signed by 2,729 people demanding the punishment to the fullest extent of the law for Lee.

The rightwing bigots threw expletives at the two women, pushing and slapping SHARPS supporters.  They derided Han’s handicapped condition, to the point that she covered her ears and burst into tears.  Her mother, Han, slumped against a wall, wailing.

The rightwing mob also attempted to attack special prosecutor Park Young-soo.  They threw water bottles at Park who managed to enter into the court, escorted by phalanxes of police officers.

This is not the first time pro-Park thugs attacked Samsung victims and SHARPS advocates.  In January 2017, tens of members of Mommies’ Troop, the far-right group of middle-aged females allegedly bankrolled by the Federation of Korean Industries, attempted to raid SHARPS’s sit-in.  They ripped SHARPS’s banners and posters, yelling, “Let’s defend Lee Jae-yong.”  Police were brought to the scene.  Two thugs were criminally charged later.

SHARPS’s Sit-in Continues

Since Oct. 7, 2015, SHARPS and its supporters have been staging a sit-in at Samsung D’light, the company’s so-called global exhibition space in south Seoul, calling for the world’s largest technology company to:  1) compensate all victims of occupational disease transparently and sufficiently; and 2) make a sincere and full apology.

 

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