Three South Korean police officers were spared jail time despite being convicted on Tuesday of neglect of duty in connection with the death of Baek Nam-gi, a farmer who sustained fatal injuries after being hit by a water cannon during a protest in 2015. The sentences demonstrate the need to amend laws in order to better protect the public from reckless police actions that may take the lives of protesters, Amnesty International said.
"Baek Nam-gi's tragic and completely avoidable death underscores why South Koreans deserve both laws and policing that fully safeguard their human right of peaceful assembly without subjecting them to unnecessary physical risks," said Arnold Fang, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International
On Tuesday, Seoul District Court fined Shin Yoon-gyoon, former chief of Seoul's fourth riot battalion, 10,000,000 Korean Won (approx. US$9,300). Two officers who operated the water cannon truck, Choi and Han, were fined 7,000,000 Won (US$6,500) and handed eight-month suspended prison sentences.