The state is the last resort that individuals can turn to when they cannot protect themselves. “The government should be held responsible for this incident as they neglected multiple reports,” said the bereaved family members of an arson incident in Jinju in April last year. Residents of Jinju reported the criminal Ahn In-deuk to the police and other agencies and even Ahn’s family asked the police to hospitalize him only to be rejected. The result of negligence was horrendous. Five died and 17 were seriously and slightly injured. Keum, one of the victims, had his family fallen apart as his daughter and mother died and his wife was seriously injured.
Late Choi Sook-hyeon (22), a triathlete who failed to withstand physical assault of her team staff and committed suicide on June 26, was found to have presented a petition six times to a related agency and neglected. She went to the Gyeongju City Hall, law enforcement and even to related athletic agencies in February, but none of them listened to her situation. Some even used COVID-19 to make an excuse. She filed a petition to the National Human Rights Commission on June 25, a day before she put herself to death. It is the most pitiable to think that a young athlete in her early 20s struggled to survive till the last minute.
The government has announced to find a solution to put an end to various scandals such as physical and sexual assault in athletic circles to no avail. The National Assembly is not very helpful either. The Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee held a meeting on Sunday to investigate the incident, draw up follow-up measures and review why current measures and systems are not effective. When there was a me-too movement by athletes including short track speed skater Shim Suk-hee in January last year, then Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-hwan announced a measure to end violence and corruption in sports sector. It is doubtful whether they are capable of reviewing the incident properly.
“Please reveal their sin,” was Choi’s last words to her mother. Her mother does not have the power to do so, but the young athlete had her family to leave her words after being shunned by government agencies. It pains us to think that the “sin” was done by not only the perpetrators but also those who did not listen to her desperate voice.
Chin-Ku Lee firstname.lastname@example.org