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South Korean ferry victims' families stage hunger strike to urge passing of Sewol bill

Published on Jul 15, 2014 1:27 AM

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) Political parties remain deadlocked over the legislation of a special bill aimed at addressing issues resulting from the ferry disaster in April, prompting victims' families to stage a hunger strike on Monday to urge the immediate formation of a probe team.

The families have been conducting a sit-in at the National Assembly since Saturday to criticise lawmakers tasked with writing the "special Sewol bill," named after the ferry sinking that left more than 300 dead or missing.

They are demanding that the probe team be given the right to investigate the maritime disaster and indict those responsible under the special law.

Lawmakers have listened and the prospective legislation will involve reparation payments to victims' families and the formation of a special team to determine the causes of the accident. But partisan bickering over how much legal authority should be granted to the fact-finding team has been stalling the bill's passage, angering families.

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