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Ruling Party Lawmaker Attacked Over Retrial Bill

Posted March. 03, 2009 01:30,   


A ruling party lawmaker was attacked by a woman affiliated with Minkahyup, a coalition of families advocating democracy, at the National Assembly yesterday.

The attack was apparently fueled by the lawmaker’s push for a re-trial of the “Dongeui University case."

Chun Yu-ok sustained an injury to her left eye and bruises all over her body. She is getting treatment at Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital in Seoul.

She is the first lawmaker to be assaulted by a person who has a stake in a legal case.

In 2002, dozens of Dongeui students found guilty of the deaths of seven police officers in a 1989 on-campus protest were recognized as pro-democracy activists by the Commission for Democratization Movement Activists’ Honor Restoration and Compensation.

Chun is seeking to challenge that ruling.

When she appeared at the gate of the main building of the National Assembly at 12:45 p.m., at least five women in their 20s to 60s rushed toward her. One grabbed Chun’s hair and punched her face and chest dozens of times.

Chun said the assailant shouted, “How dare you seek a new trial? I’ll kill you if you don’t withdraw the bill.” They also reportedly prodded their fingers in Chun’s left eye, saying, “Your eyes should be taken out.”

After getting emergency treatment at the Assembly, Chun was taken to the hospital.

A neurosurgeon at the hospital said, “(Chun) suffered bleeding on the left conjunctiva. Given that she complained of dizziness, we suspect she also suffered a cerebral concussion.”

“We will confirm her exact condition after a thorough physical examination.”

The assailant was arrested at the Assembly parking lot.

Minkahyup members came to parliamentary headquarters after attending a news conference convened by a coalition of pro-democracy civic organizations, which urged the withdrawal of the re-trial.

sunshade@donga.com gaea@donga.com