On April 16, 2014, the Sewol ferry sank off Korea’s southwest coast leaving many citizens of the country seriously traumatized. A simulation study done by a university research center reveals that everyone on the ferry could have been saved within ten minutes with a proper rescue operation, yet, the local government authority did not make a serious effort to save them and 304 passengers, most of them high school students, perished in sight of their families.
There have been a lot of unanswered questions like those listed below concerning the reasons for the failure of the ferry company and the authorities to rescue them. Many people suspect foul play. Ever since, victims' families and their supporters have taken to the streets to demand a transparent and thorough investigation. Unfortunately, the local authorities have responded with police brutality, spying on, imprisonment of those who are demanding the truth. There have been numerous protests in Korea and in many major cities around the world such as New York, LA, London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin and Munich. This is definitely an unprecedented phenomenon after the fall of military dictatorships in South Korea in 1980s. Currently, some human rights activists are in prison in Seoul for organizing protests and commemorations of the first anniversary of the catastrophe.
We demand to know:
Why the coast guard refused help from navy, US army, many professional divers, and volunteers?
Why the coast guard rescued the captain and the crew first, instead of the passengers?
Why the coast guard did not use the navy Tongyeong surface rescue ship?
Why the authorities chose to use a private barge that took 3 days to arrive, when there were 22 barges around within 2 hours' reach?
Why the president didn't hold any emergency meeting and was missing for 7 hours?
Why the captain was missing for 22.5 hours and why he slept over at the home of a coast guard official? Why the CCTV was deleted during his overnight visit?
Why many marine experts don't trust the government's reports and they refuse interviews with the media? Was there any pressure?
Why the government's investigation report is different from CNN's report footage?
Why the government only announced an AIS (Automatic Identification System) data leaving out more detailed radar data?
Why the reports of AIS data and radar data are different, and why there are two versions of radar data?
Why NIS (National Intelligence Service) dealt with the employees management, and business details of the Sewol ferry (according to the laptop found on the ship)?
Why there was no investigation on insurance fraud possibility of the ferry company, despite of its two previous suspicions by the insurance company?
Who sent out a press release that every passenger was saved and delayed the rescue efforts?
*Human rights violations
Why the police has been spying on the victims' families on a regular basis?
Why the police beat up and arrested more than 700 protesters including victims' families during a peaceful 1-year-anniversary?
Why the human rights activist, PARK Raegun was prosecuted for organizing peaceful protests and sent to prison?
Why the new PM Hwang Gyoan searched and confiscated things from the "4 16 Coalition" NGO office, only a day after his tenure?
Why Channel A, a huge conservative broadcasting aired a fabricated image of violent protest, as if it happened at a peaceful Sewol ferry protest? How they could get away with it?
Why the government doesn't provide a medical or financial support for the 7 volunteer divers who lost diving ability because of decompression disease after the tragedy?
Why the senior volunteer coordinator was prosecuted for the accidental death of his peer, when the official duty falls on the government officials?
*Punishment of the guilty
Why only the captain of patrol vessel no.123, the low rank official was prosecuted skipping the decision-makers in the coast guard?
Why the captain of patrol vessel's 4-year imprisonment was reduced to 3 years?
Why the 33 ship safety regulators were rehired, even though they had already been prosecuted for their huge mismanagement?
Why some higher-up officials in the coast guard made obvious big lies about their rescue work in public, yet, still managed to avoid prosecution?