Widely Read Magazine in Nigeria

South Korea opposition leader hospitalised after hunger strike


South Korea opposition leader hospitalised after hunger strike

South Korea’s main opposition leader, Lee Jae-myung, was admitted to the hospital on Monday after enduring a 19-day hunger strike to protest government policies, according to his party.

Shortly after his hospitalization, prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with corruption allegations.

Lee, aged 58, initiated his hunger strike on August 31 to decry what he perceives as the government’s “incompetent and violent” policies, particularly its failure to object to Japan’s release of treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Media footage showed Lee, a former presidential candidate, appearing pale and frail. However, his hospitalization did not deter prosecutors from pursuing his arrest.

“Whether to fast or not and how to fast is a matter of personal freedom, but it should not affect the investigation or trial,” remarked South Korea’s Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon during a parliamentary session.

Read Also: Kiss Scandal: Rubiales’ Mother Hospitalised After Hunger Strike

He added, “If a precedent is set that affects investigations and trials, wouldn’t everyone, including petty criminals, start fasting when they receive a summons notice?”

Prosecutors have accused Lee of bribery related to a company suspected of illicitly transferring $8 million to North Korea. Additionally, he is alleged to have breached his duties during his tenure as mayor of Seongnam City, resulting in a loss of 20 billion won ($15 million) for a company owned by the city. Lee vehemently denies all allegations.

For a court to consider the prosecution’s request for an arrest warrant, Lee’s parliamentary immunity would need to be waived by the 300-member National Assembly, where the Democratic Party, led by Lee, holds the majority. Lee’s party criticized this latest development, asserting that the arrest warrant signifies the “violent and oppressive” nature of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s administration in a statement.

In February, the National Assembly had previously rejected a request for an arrest warrant. The ruling People Power Party has urged Lee to cease his hunger strike and expressed readiness to engage in discussions with him regarding his policy concerns once he regains his health.

Lee’s journey to political prominence, from a former child factory worker who suffered an industrial accident as a teenage school dropout, was partly based on his rags-to-riches narrative.

However, his pursuit of the highest office has been marred by a series of scandals, including a questionable land development deal and persistent rumours linking him to organized crime.

Tragically, at least five individuals connected to various scandals related to Lee have been found dead, with some apparent suicides. In the previous year’s presidential election, he lost to Yoon by a narrow margin of 0.7 per cent.

South Korea opposition leader hospitalised after hunger strike

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

5 × four =

%d bloggers like this: