Seeking Truth after 50 Years: The National Committee for Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju 4.3 Events
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Between 1948 and 1954, a communist-led uprising in Jeju, South Korea, and the subsequent counterinsurgency campaign by the new anticommunist government resulted in an estimated 15,000 deaths. The massacres were systematically hidden from the general public and the victims' demands for truth and justice were totally suppressed during consecutive anticommunist military regimes for some 50 years. However, with democratization in 1987, a movement was started by local students, activists and journalists to find the truth about civilian massacres. After a long and painstaking journey, the first South Korean truth commission was established in 2000 to investigate the massacres and restore the dignity of victims and their family members. The advocacy movement process and the truth commission itself have gone largely unnoticed by scholars and practitioners around the world. Based on interviews and archival research, this article provides the first close examination of the South Korean transitional justice movement.
International Journal of Transitional Justice
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in International Journal of Transitional Justice following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Seeking Truth after 50 Years: The National Committee for Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju 4.3 Events International Journal of Transitional Justice is available online at: Volume 3, Issue 3, 2009, 406-423 is available online at: 10.1093/ijtj/ijp014