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Nude Photos of Riot Police Officers Cause Further Controversy

Nude Photos of Riot Police Officers Cause Further Controversy

Posted June. 25, 2005 06:06,   


Nude photos of some members of the riot police are being circulated on the Internet. More specifically, photos taken in the police officers’ living quarters are being raised as a scandal.

According to the Gangwon Provincial Police Agency, six members of the riot police unit 307, who had belonged to the Gangneung Police Station, were promoted from the lowest rank to the next. On September 2, last year, those six had to take a nude picture of themselves in front of their seniors as part of a hazing ritual.

The Gangwon Provincial Police Agency said, “When they were attached to Gangneung, each platoon had a hazing ritual in front of the seniors after the promotion ceremony. If a newcomer said something wrong or laughed, he had to take his clothes off piece by piece. He had to attend the promotion ceremony naked. The officers followed the tradition, and that is why the whole incident happened.”

The police also said, “But after unit 307 moved from Gangneung to Wonju, the company commander and members agreed to eliminate the bad practice on October 25 of last year. Now it is gone.”

The three photos on the Internet were posted by Mr. Jo (23 years old, Seokdam3-dong, Seo-gu, Incheon City). He was in charge of the living quarters in question and was discharged from his military service on September 26, last year. On September 4, he put the pictures on his Cyworld blog from a computer at his unit lounge to keep records of his service years.

Jo’s blog, where the nude pictures were initially posted, was closed on June 24.

Meanwhile, the six officers in the nude photos held a press conference in the Gangwon Provincial Police Agency on the same day and explained, “There was no violation of our human rights when the photos were taken. We were promoted in about a year. We were in a good mood and thought it was a game when we undressed and posed for the pictures.”

Chang-Soon Choi cschoi@donga.com