"I COULD NOT SEE THE SUN FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS" – A LITTLE BOY IN PRISON/SOLITARY TOLD" WISH THAT NO CHILD HAS TO LIVE IN SHADOW! Photo pebbles foto – Bing images

‘Hell within Hell’: Children raped daily for years, forced to pick maggots out of open wounds and watch inmates being tortured and stamped to death at ‘evil’ South Korean labour camp


‘Hell within Hell’: Children raped daily for years, forced to pick maggots out of open wounds and watch inmates being tortured and stamped to death at ‘evil’ South Korean labour camp

  • Brothers Home, in Busan, South Korea, had more than 20 factories at peak
  • Ex inmates claim children were raped and many prisoners beaten to death
  • Thousands ’rounded up off the streets ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics’
  • Busan city officials said facts are difficult to confirm now because facility closed 30 years ago

The 14-year-old boy in the black school jacket stared at his shoes, his heart pounding, as the policeman accused him of stealing a piece of bread.

Even now, more than 30 years later, Choi Seung-woo weeps when he describes all that happened next. 

The policeman yanked down the boy’s pants and sparked a cigarette lighter near Choi’s genitals until he confessed to a crime he didn’t commit. 

Then two men with clubs came and dragged Choi off to the Brothers Home, a mountainside institution where some of the worst human rights atrocities in modern South Korean history took place.

Nobody has been held accountable to date for the rapes and killings at the Brothers compound (pictured) in Busan, South Korea, an investigation has claimed. Children are pictured at the campSHARE PICTURE

Nobody has been held accountable to date for the rapes and killings at the Brothers compound (pictured) in Busan, South Korea, an investigation has claimed. Children are pictured at the camp

A guard in Choi’s dormitory raped him that night in 1982 – and the next, and the next. So began five hellish years of slave labour and near-daily assaults, years in which Choi saw men and women beaten to death, their bodies carted away like garbage.

Choi was one of thousands – the homeless, the drunk, but mostly children and the disabled – rounded up off the streets ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which the ruling dictators saw as international validation of South Korea’s arrival as a modern country. 

An Associated Press investigation shows that the abuse of these so-called vagrants at Brothers, the largest of dozens of such facilities, was much more vicious and widespread than previously known, based on hundreds of exclusive documents and dozens of interviews with officials and former inmates.

Yet nobody has been held accountable to date for the rapes and killings at the Brothers compound because of a cover-up orchestrated at the highest levels of government, the AP found. 

Two early attempts to investigate were suppressed by senior officials who went on to thrive in high-profile jobs; one remains a senior adviser to the current ruling party. 

Products made using slave labour at Brothers were sent to Europe, Japan and possibly beyond, and the family that owned the institution continued to run welfare facilities and schools until just two years ago.

Even as South Korea prepares for its second Olympics, in 2018, thousands of traumatized former inmates have still received no compensation, let alone public recognition or an apology. The few who now speak out want a new investigation.

Thousands of children and the disabled were rounded up off the streets (pictured) ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics and sent to camps such as the Brothers Home  in Busan, South KoreaSHARE PICTURE

Thousands of children and the disabled were rounded up off the streets (pictured) ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics and sent to camps such as the Brothers Home in Busan, South Korea

The current government, however, refuses to revisit the case, and is blocking a push by an opposition lawmaker to do so on the grounds that the evidence is too old.

Ahn Jeong-tae, an official from Seoul’s Ministry of the Interior, said focusing on just one human rights incident would financially burden the government and set a bad precedent. 

The Brothers’ victims, he said, should have submitted their case to a temporary truth-finding commission established in the mid-2000s to investigate past atrocities.

‘We can’t make separate laws for every incident and there have been so many incidents since the Korean War,’ Ahn said.

The government has consistently tried to bury what happened. How do you fight that?

Former inmates, however, cannot forget. One spent months standing quietly in front of the National Assembly with a signboard demanding justice. Choi has attempted suicide several times and now attends weekly therapy sessions.

‘The government has consistently tried to bury what happened. How do you fight that? If we spoke up, who would have heard us?’ he asked. ‘I am wailing, desperate to tell our story. Please listen to us.’ 

Once an orphanage, Brothers Home at its peak had more than 20 factories churning out woodwork, metalwork, clothing, shoes and other goods made by mostly unpaid inmates. 

The sprawling compound of concrete buildings rose above the southern port city of Busan, its inmates hidden from view by tall walls and kept there by guards who carried bats and patrolled with dogs.

The horrors that happened behind those walls are inextricably linked to South Korea’s modern history.

The country at the time was still recovering from the near-total devastation of the 1950-53 Korean War, which followed nearly four decades of brutal Japanese colonization. 

Once an orphanage, Brothers Home (pictured) at its peak had more than 20 factories churning out woodwork, metalwork, clothing, shoes and other goods made by mostly unpaid inmatesSHARE PICTURE

Once an orphanage, Brothers Home (pictured) at its peak had more than 20 factories churning out woodwork, metalwork, clothing, shoes and other goods made by mostly unpaid inmates

From the 1960s until the 1980s, before democracy, it was ruled by military dictators who focused overwhelmingly on improving the economy.

In 1975, dictator President Park Chung-hee, father of current President Park Geun-hye, issued a directive to police and local officials to ‘purify’ city streets of vagrants. 

Police officers, assisted by shop owners, rounded up panhandlers, small-time street merchants selling gum and trinkets, the disabled, lost or unattended children, and dissidents, including a college student who’d been holding anti-government leaflets.

They ended up as prisoners at 36 nationwide facilities. By 1986, the number of inmates had jumped over five years from 8,600 to more than 16,000, according to government documents obtained by AP.

 It was a hell within a hell. The patients had been left there to die
Former Brothers inmate Lee Chae-sik

Nearly 4,000 were at Brothers. But about 90 percent of them didn’t even meet the government’s definition of ‘vagrant’ and therefore shouldn’t have been confined there, former prosecutor Kim Yong Won told the AP, based on Brothers’ records and interviews compiled before government officials ended his investigation.

The inner workings of Brothers are laid bare by former inmate Lee Chae-sik, who had extraordinary access as personal assistant to the man in charge of enforcing the rules. The AP independently verified many of the details provided by Lee, now 46, through government documents.

Lee was sent to Brothers at 13 after trouble at school. His first job was in a medical ward. Twice a day, Lee and four others, none of whom had medical training, would try to care for patients, often dousing their open wounds with disinfectant or removing maggots with tweezers.

‘People screamed in pain, but we couldn’t do much,’ Lee said. ‘It was a hell within a hell. The patients had been left there to die.’

Stronger inmates raped and beat the weak and stole their food, he said. Lee attempted suicide after a guard at the medical ward raped him.

A year later, he was made personal assistant to chief enforcer Kim Kwang-seok, who like other guards at Brothers was an inmate raised to power by the owner because of his loyalty. Many former inmates remember Kim as the facility’s most feared man. The AP tried repeatedly to track Kim down but could not find him.

Adults worked on construction jobs, both at Brothers and off-site. Children sometimes hauled dirt and built walls, but mostly they assembled ballpoint pens and fishing hooksSHARE PICTURE

Lee said he was present when Kim, a short, stocky man with sunburned skin, led near-daily, often fatal beatings at the compound’s ‘corrections room.’ Lee accompanied Kim as he compiled a twice-a-day tally of the sick and dead for the owner; four or five daily deaths were often on the list.

A scene recounted by Lee provides a firsthand account of the efficient, almost casually evil way the facility worked. 

One morning, Kim approached owner Park In-keun on his daily jog to report that yet another inmate had been beaten to death the night before. The boy heard Park order Kim to bury the body in the hills behind the compound’s walls. 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3545761/Hell-Hell-Child-prisoners-raped-daily-years-tortured-confessing-petty-crimes-did-not-commit-South-Korean-prison.html#ixzz46Il2SVVB
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One response

  1. Reblogged this on HumanSinShadow.

    April 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm

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