Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Tuesday afternoon, South Korea’s Gwangju District Court found Captain Lee Jun-Seok guilty for abandoning the Sewol ferry that sank April 16th, claiming more than 300 lives, most of whom were high school students. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, but judges presiding over the case, cleared Lee of homicide charges and found him guilty of negligence. While the families still seek death for Captain Lee, it’s important to reflect on the nature of this sentence and accept South Korea hasn’t executed anyone since 1997. The verdict may read 36 years in prison, but the reality of the situation is this is a death sentence. In related Sewol news, South Korea formally ended search operations for the last nine bodies yet to be recovered from the accident site.
In Hong Kong, courts have authorized bailiffs to use police to clear out protest sites if pro-democracy demonstrators refuse to clear out. Lam said, “I strongly urge protesters who are still staying in the occupied areas – whether the areas are covered by the injunctions or not – they should voluntarily and peacefully leave as soon as possible.” As I previously mentioned, with eyes on Beijing for the APEC summit, little action would take place to resolve the stand-off. Now that leaders are poised to move, expect Hong Kong officials to take the action they’re promising and for clashes to occur.
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