Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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The Human Rights Association (HAK) is working with the Korean Solidarity Group to award an "appreciation medal" to the comfort women of World War II, from 1942-1945 in Timor-Leste.

Human Rights Association (HAK) is working with the Korean Solidarity Group to award an "appreciation medal" to the comfort women of World War II, from 1942-1945 in Timor-Leste.

HAK Executive Director, Manuel Monteiro said this medal recognizes the dignity and suffering of the survivors, and it is also for those who already died. The medial also encourages those victims still alive and their families to continue to fight for justice.
He said they had managed to identify 20 victims, 10 of which have already passed away and another 10 victims are still alive.
"The purpose is to strengthen the spirit of the victims and the families to continue to struggle for justice because so far the leaders have not paid attention to the victims of World War II," said Director Monteiro in Farol, Dili.
He added the fight was not finished because justice had not been done, especially recognition from the Japanese government for the wrongs done during second world war.
Therefore, HAK has asked the Timor-Leste's government to create mutual and genuine diplomacy with the Japanese government in order to dignify and pay attention to the victims who are living in very vulnerable conditions.
He was sad that the Timor-Leste's government considered this as history, and it is a big shame for the country, yet the new generation are not aware of these events from the past.
He said past injustices must be taught to the new generations of Timorese, otherwise such violations may happen again.
"We see now in our society, people who have money continue to commit violence against women and it is also happening to girls, " he said.
On the other hand, the representative of Korean Solidarity Jeung Seun Yi said the Korean people were also victims of the Japanese military actions in World War II. The medal from the Korean Solidarity group was a way to give a hand to each other for the struggle toward justice and truth for the survivors.
"This action is supposed to be done by the Japanese government, we give with all our heart a hand for the victims and the families," he said.
He said a Japanese Solidarity Group had begun to investigate the incidents of World War II in Timor-Leste in relation to this issue.
He added that the South Korean solidarity Action group is committed to continue to support HAK Timor-Leste and the families of the survivors to fight for justice and continue to support the needs of the victims.
Meanwhile, victim Esperansa Amelia Fenandes from Uato-Carbau administrative post, of Viqueque Municapaility, thanked the Korean Solidarity group for awarding the medal to the survivors, but it has not healed the victims wound and scars.
"We are old and will die one day, but our grandchildren [of the victims] will continue to hold hands and trust each other to continue to fight for the truth," she said in tears.

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