Coverage of Kwon In Suk

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Date: 1986

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Print Journalism , Television


Confronting Bodies: Ministry of Culture

Confronted Bodies: South Korean Journalists

Dates of Action: July 17, 1986

Location: South Korea

Focus of Opposition: Press coverage about the sexual torture of Kwon In Suk, a female university student, by the police.


The Incident This particular coverage was part of the Information guidelines (Hongbo_Chojong_Jichim) implemented by the South Korean government. The government permitted newspapers to carry the story on the national pages, but forbade the publication of reports by individual journalists. The government specified that the headline must read "sexual insult," and not "sexual assault." The press was directed to publish the prosecutor's entire report, in which the student's allegations of physical abuse and rape were found to be groundless fabrications and part of a communist strategy. The guideline further stated that "details of accusations made by barristers for the anti-government side or the NCC (National Council of Churches), and the communique concerning the incident published by other women's associations, must not be reported.

Result of Incident The guidelines were upheld.


Source: Asia Watch, "Freedom of Expression in the Republic of Korea"