South Korean historians demand the 'History Distortion Prevention Act' to be withdrawn

연합뉴스 / 2021-06-09 14:38:05
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▲ This photo shows the Dokdo Exhibition Hall at Northeast Asian History Foundation. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean historians have demanded that the "History Distortion Prevention Act" proposed by the National Assembly last month should be withdrawn because it is feared to suppress the freedom of study and thought guaranteed by the Constitution.


In a statement released on Wednesday, 21 history-related societies said, "The law on the prevention of distortion of history, which over-judicialize historical issues, such as imposing a snare of historical distortion on a specific view of history and specifying punishment clauses, should be withdrawn as soon as possible."


The Historical Distortion Prevention Act, proposed by Rep. Kim Yong-min of the Democratic Party of Korea, calls for a maximum of 10 years in prison or a fine of up to 200 million won if it distorts the meaning of the March 1 Movement or praises Japanese imperialism.


Historical groups argued that the Anti-Distortion Act had similarities with the old National Security Act, which suppressed freedom of study and thought, and that the provision that required a specific historical researcher to judge the standard of historical distortion was unfair.


They also warned that judging and condemning historical events by law is likely to dampen historical research and prevent citizens from accessing and discussing historical facts.


"Unlike its original purpose, inevitably the Historical Distortion Prevention Act will have a negative effect on encouraging historical wars," they said. "The historical issue should be solved by professional research and social consensus."





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