Whole towns' worth of people on South Korea's remote southwest coast are complicit in the longrunning, open enslavement of mentally and physically disabled workers who are kidnapped from the streets of cities like Seoul and beaten into lives of forced labor.
Despite years and years of routine exposes in the press and government promises to clean things up, nothing has changed.
Kim, visually disabled and described in court documents as having the social awareness of a 12-year-old, had no money, no cellphone and only the vaguest idea of where he was.
The afternoon of his first full day on the farm, Hong erupted as Kim struggled with the backbreaking work, according to the prosecutors' indictment that a judge based Hong's sentence on. The owner grabbed him from behind and flipped him onto the ground, screaming, "You moron. If I knew you'd be so bad at this, I wouldn't have brought you here."
In the next weeks, Hong punched him in the face for not cleaning floors properly. He beat him on the buttocks with a wooden plank for raking the salt in the wrong way.
"Each time I tried to ask him something, his punch came first," Kim told the AP. "He told me to use my mouth only for eating and smoking. He said I shouldn't question things and should be thankful because he fed me and gave me lodging and work."
Slaves endure 'a living hell' on remote South Korean islands [Foster Klug, Jung-Yoon Choi and Kim Tong-Hyung/AP]
(via Hacker News)