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South Koreans should be free to be 'wrong' about history

Criminalization of alternative views undermines public discourse and policymaking

| South Korea
Armed martial law troops guard captured protesters in Gwangju in May 1980: Seoul's enforcement of an officially approved historical narrative has echoes of practices seen in autocratic states.   © Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Joseph Yi is an associate professor of political science at Hanyang University in Seoul and a founding member of Heterodox East Asia Community, an online forum for educators.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Korea upheld conservative commentator Jee Man-won's two-year sentence for falsely defaming those who participated in pro-democracy protests in the city of Gwangju in 1980.

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