Ruling party condemns disclosure of names of Itaewon tragedy victims

SEOUL– The leaders of the ruling People Power Party lashed out at an online media outlet Tuesday for disclosing the names of victims in the Itaewon crowd crush without the consent of bereaved families, claiming the move is aimed at capitalizing on the tragedy for political gain.

“It’s a sinful act,” Rep. Joo Ho-young, the floor leader of the PPP, told a party meeting. “Pushing ahead with the disclosure, even though it has repeatedly been pointed out that it would be a violation of the law, shows how evil and meticulous their purpose was.”

On Monday, the online media outlet Mindeulle released the names of 155 deceased victims in the Oct. 29 crowd crush that has killed at least 158. Acknowledging that the bereaved families did not give consent, it claimed the disclosure was aimed at better mourning and investigating the incident.

The PPP floor leader accused the media outlet of colluding with an organization associated with the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), warning them against attempting to politicize the tragedy.

The main opposition party has been calling for both a parliamentary probe and a special prosecutor to look into the government’s alleged mishandling of the case, as well as disclosing the names of the victims with the consent of the bereaved families.

The PPP has dismissed the calls, saying that ongoing police investigations should come first.

“The primary goal of their sinful act is to shield party leader Lee Jae-myung, who is under numerous criminal suspicions, and their ultimate goal is to pressure President Yoon Suk-yeol to resign,” Joo said, warning that the attempt will face stern judgment by the people.

PPP chief Chung Jin-suk also denounced the disclosure as “inflicting wounds on the bereaved families” and called for legal countermeasures.

“The PPP and I will not turn a blind eye to the tragic pain of the Itaewon crowd crush victims’ bereaved families. We will do our best in investigating the truth and preparing measures,” Chung said.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Song Doo-hwan also voiced deep regret over the disclosure.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said the disclosure is “undeniably an act against human rights” and illegality could have been involved in the leak of the list.

The DP said it opposes disclosing the names without the consent of bereaved families.

“It is desirable that for a sincere mourning to take place, there is a list and photos but disclosing the list without consent is not desirable,” DP spokesperson Rep. An Ho-young said Monday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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