Over 250,000 demand repeal of Korea's juvenile code after teen girl is brutally attacked and left for dead

Over 250,000 demand repeal of Korea's juvenile code after teen girl is brutally attacked and left for dead
PHOTO: YouTube, Facebook/Han Ju Yeon

A series of brutal violence amongst teenagers in South Korea have sent shock waves across the country since the start of September.

Juvenile crimes in Korea took the spotlight recently when video footage of a 14-year-old middle schoolgirl from Busan being assaulted by a group of peers went viral.

According to several news reports, the young girl who was brutalised by five teenage girls on Sept 1 was almost killed in the process.

The bullies had used weapons such as a chair and metal pipe as well as cigarettes, attacking her for over an hour. 

The victim was apparently attacked after being accused by her perpetrators of having a "bad attitude" for receiving a call from a boy that one of the attackers was dating, said The Korea Herald.

Furthermore, the report added that this is the second time the victim had to receive medical attention for injuries inflicted by the same group of bullies. 

The suspects eventually turned themselves in to the police two hours after the attack, said NextShark. But they weren’t arrested due to the current juvenile law in Korea.

In fact, the police have also come under fire for mishandling the bullying case.

The authorities allegedly did not take the case seriously even though two of the attackers had already been on probation linked to a different case, The Korea Herald reported.

On Sept 11, Korean media reported that there has been a spike in calls from the public to rewrite a set of legal codes that give young delinquents limited punishment.

President Moon Jae-in told Yonhap News that the online petition site of the presidential office received a petition with about 260,000 signatures calling for a revision of the law to strengthen punishment for juvenile crimes.

South Korea's juvenile law protects offenders under 18 from harsh punishment. 

The president also said that the case should serve as an opportunity to discuss ways to end school violence.

Moon said "it is important to collect sufficient public views before revising the law" and that ministers in charge of social affairs should take up the issue.

He added that the recent bullying case should "serve as an opportunity to discuss ways to end school violence".

The controversy has sparked widespread outrage amongst the general public in Korea and started discussions on local social media.

After the first case in Busan went viral, yet another similar incident involving teenagers was brought to light a few days later.

Lee Haneul's story was shared on Facebook by her older sister, Hanna. Similarly, the account also took the internet by storm, garnering over 90,000 likes and almost 6,000 shares.

While it is unclear how old Lee is, the incident happened in Gangwon, South Korea sometime in July this year.

In her Facebook post, the older sister shared horrifying photos of the victim in hospital as well as her serious injuries.

on Facebook

펌)부산 여중생 사건에 이은 강릉 폭행사건 소년이 아니라 그냥 악마 그 자체다 단체채팅 내용 보고 찢어 죽이러 가고 싶어짐 아래는 퍼온 글 전문 제 친구 동생 얘기입니다.(00년생) 계속 신고가 돼서 글이 내려가...

Posted by 유머저장소 on Monday, 4 September 2017

With cases like these being made public, it is no wonder that the nation is in shock. 

And it is only fitting that there are mounting calls for the country to abolish the juvenile crime law and give teenagers the same treatment as adults when it comes to receiving punishment.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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