Saturday, June 28, 2014

Former 'comfort women' serving U.S. military file damages lawsuit

Former 'comfort women' serving U.S. military file damages lawsuit June 28, 2014 By TORU HIGASHIOKA/ Correspondent SEOUL--A group of former South Korean “comfort women” who served in government-controlled brothels for U.S. soldiers filed a suit here, demanding state compensation for forced prostitution. It is the first such legal action in the context of brothels sanctioned by the South Korean government for the U.S. military. The plaintiffs are seeking 10 million won (1 million yen, or $9,850) in redress for being forced to serve as “U.S. military comfort women” after the Korean War ended in 1953. The suit, filed in the Seoul Central District Court on June 25, claims that the South Korean government controlled the women's activities and infringed on their human rights. According to a citizens group supporting the plaintiffs, the women were forced to provide sex to U.S. servicemen in government-designated “special areas” around U.S. military bases in South Korea since 1957. The group claims that the women's activities were controlled by the government, which also required them to undergo mandatory medical checkups for sexually transmitted diseases. They also claim the existence of government-run camps to accommodate women infected with STDs. The plaintiffs demanded that the government conduct an investigation to disclose the historical facts and issue an official apology.