South Gyeongsang, South Korea.
|Location||South Gyeongsang, South Korea|
|Date||9 February 1951 – 11 February 1951|
|Target||Communist sympathizer civilians|
|Perpetrators||11th Division of the South Korean Army|
The Geochang massacre (Korean: 거창 양민학살 사건, Hanja: 居昌良民虐殺事件) was a massacre conducted by the third battalion of the 9th regiment of the 11th Division of the South Korean Army between 9 February 1951 and 11 February 1951 of 719 unarmed citizens in Geochang, South Gyeongsang district of South Korea. The victims included 385 children. The 11th Division also conducted the Sancheong-Hamyang massacre two days earlier. The general commanding the division was Choe Deok-sin.
In March 1951, Shin Chung-mok (ko), a leading assembly lawmaker from Geochang reported the massacre to the National Assembly against South Korean Army cover up. The National Assembly's special investigation team investigated, but was hampered by the South Korean Army's interruption. Shin was arrested and sentenced to death in an Army court martial. In May 1951, the second investigation team was dispatched by the National Assembly and they reported the South Korean Army involvement. After the investigation, Major Han and Colonel Oh Ik-gyun were sentenced to life in prison by a military court. President Syngman Rhee subsequently granted clemency to criminals. This massacre is pointed out as an example of oppression under his rule.
In 2001, a local court ordered the South Korean government to pay reparations to the victims' families. On 18 May 2004, a general court ruled that a charge of massacre against the South Korean governmental was barred by limitation.
On 5 June 2008, the South Korean Supreme Court confirmed that the charge was barred by limitation.
In June 2010, An Jeong-a, a researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission disclosed National Defense Ministry official documents on his thesis that the massacre had been done under official South Korean Army order in order to annihilate citizens living in the guerrilla influenced area. On September 9, 2010, An was fired for disclosing Geochang massacre documents. The National Defense Ministry accused An of disclosing the documents which he had been only permitted to view under the condition of nondisclosure.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Korea)
- Bodo League massacre
- Jeju Uprising
- Mungyeong massacre
- List of massacres in South Korea
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