South Korean Mayor Sexually Harassed Secretary, Report Finds

A prime human rights watchdog in South Korea has launched a report confirming that the previous mayor of Seoul, who went lacking in July solely to later be discovered lifeless, had sexually harassed and verbally humiliated a secretary.

The Nationwide Human Rights Fee led an investigation into the allegations in opposition to the previous mayor, Park Gained-soon, whose physique was discovered on a wooded hill within the South Korean capital simply at some point after considered one of his secretaries filed a police report accusing him of constructing undesirable bodily advances and sending her obscene messages and images late at evening.

In a press release launched on Monday, the watchdog group mentioned it discovered the sufferer’s allegations to be credible.

“Mayor Park’s sexual phrases and actions led to emotions of sexual humiliation or disgust,” the fee mentioned in a press release, including that the mayor’s habits amounted to sexual harassment.

On July 15, days after the mayor’s loss of life, the Seoul government said that it would form a fact-finding mission with ladies’s teams and specialists on legislation and human rights to look at the sufferer’s accusations. Two of the teams tapped by the federal government, the Korea Sexual Violence Reduction Middle and the Korea Ladies’s Hotline, mentioned they might not take part. As an alternative, they appealed to the Nationwide Human Rights Fee to steer an unbiased investigation, which started in August.

The outcomes of the investigation included suggestions for the Seoul metropolis authorities on the way to conduct future investigations, and the way to forestall additional sexual abuse and harassment within the office. The report additionally discovered that historically patriarchal relationships within the mayor’s workplace had created situations that led to harassment and abuse.

“Mayor Park had been a powerful politician who was talked about as a possible presidential candidate. However, the sufferer was a lower-level civil servant,” the report mentioned. “It’s clear that the 2 had been in a hierarchical relationship in response to standing. Sexual harassment is prone to happen throughout the tradition of the group based mostly on patriarchal hierarchies and gender stereotypes. This case was not an exception.”

In a press release on Tuesday, the appearing mayor, Search engine marketing Jung-hyup, mentioned that the town authorities would “humbly settle for the outcomes of the probe with an angle of self-reflection and introspection,” and promised to implement measures in opposition to sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.

By legislation, the legal case in opposition to Mr. Park was closed upon his loss of life in July. Final month, the police closed an investigation into whether or not the previous mayor’s co-workers had aided and abetted his predatory habits for a scarcity of proof.

The police haven’t dominated on the reason for Mr. Park’s loss of life, however earlier than his disappearance, he wrote a be aware of apology to his household with directions on the place to scatter his ashes.

Whereas his mind-set on the time of his loss of life is unknown, Mr. Park, was as soon as thought of a champion of girls’s rights and the second strongest official in Seoul after the president. It’s believed he killed himself at some point after his secretary, whose title and different private info haven’t been launched, went to the police together with her allegations.

In a press release launched earlier this month, the sufferer mentioned she hoped the fee’s findings would put an finish to any confusion across the case, even when the mayor may now not be held accountable for his actions.

“I ask the fee to place to relaxation the confusion in our society by figuring out the details,” she wrote. “To not punish somebody, however to avoid wasting somebody’s life.”

Since coming ahead, the victim has faced a backlash for the mayor’s death, and a few critics have tried to publicize her identification on-line. Earlier this month, a Seoul courtroom sentenced an unidentified district official to 3 years and 6 months in jail for sexually assaulting the identical lady.

South Korea has confronted a collection of sexual harassment circumstances amongst highly effective politicians lately. Kim Jong-cheol resigned as chairman of the progressive Justice Party on Monday after admitting to sexually harassing a member of his occasion. Oh Keo-don, the former mayor of Busan, resigned in April after admitting to sexually assaulting a public servant in his workplace.

In its report, the Nationwide Human Rights Fee mentioned that different victims who come ahead about harassment and abuse ought to be assured an unbiased investigation.

In case you are having ideas of suicide, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for an inventory of extra assets.

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