Now 42 years have passed since May 1980.

However, the 5/18 victims are still having a difficult time.

The Constitutional Court's decision a year ago opened the way to compensation for mental damage, but no actual alimony has been paid yet.

Reporter Ahn Hee-jae reports.


In May 1980, Mr. Byun Byung-seop, who guarded the Jeollanam-do Provincial Office as a teenage militia.

I can still hear the sound of gunshots hitting the provincial government office.

[Byeon Hyeong-seop / Person of merit in the 5/18 Democratization Movement: It was soaked in blood.

As soon as he is caught, he shoots with his paws and lowers it with his butt, and then…


Severe torture, imprisonment, and the 'rioter' tag shattered our daily lives, and we suffered from nightmares every night.

[Byeon Hyeong-seop / May 18 Democratization Movement Contributor: (When he falls asleep) The blood that has fallen is reflected in his eyes darkly.

I woke up in the reflection, I just flew to somewhere and suddenly fell off a cliff...


Depending on the degree of physical damage, etc., the compensation received 28 years ago quickly disappeared as medical expenses.

In May of last year, when I was suffering from trauma, good news came.

This is a judgment of the Constitutional Court that, apart from the compensation under the 5·18 Act, the state can demand compensation for damage related to mental damage.

[Byeon Hyeong-seop / Person of merit in the 5/18 democratization movement: I'm glad, even if it's hospital bills or the rent that's been rushed in, wouldn't that help?

How much would it be?]

After the unconstitutional decision, Mr. Byun started a lawsuit for psychological damages, and about 3,100 such people in one year, and the amount of alimony claims exceeded 200 billion won.

Although the first and second trial judgments in favor of the victims are continuing on a case-by-case basis, no alimony has been paid.

Because the government is not giving up on the court battle.

The Ministry of Justice said, "We respect the decision of the Constitutional Court," but said that there is a large difference in the amount of compensation from the lower courts.

[Lim Jong-su, Chairman of the 5/18 Democratization Movement Contributors Association: It is too harsh to ask those who have suffered and lived with patience to wait patiently until the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trials in this litigation process again...


Victims who were later recognized for their right to claim compensation for psychological damage, but still have to cross the gate of litigation against the state.

There are many voices calling for a speedy trial by investigating the degree of psychological damage of those of merit on the 5/18 and setting compensation standards.

(Video coverage: Kim Seung-tae, video editing: Lee Seung-hee)

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