Today (on the 12th), 29 cultural and artistic organizations held a press conference demanding an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of actor Lee Sun Kyun, who was under police investigation for drug use allegations. Prominent figures, including Director Bong Joon Ho, singer-songwriter Yoon Jong Shin, and actor Kim Eui Sung, were in attendance, underscoring the importance and urgency of the demands.
The cultural community’s statement highlighted three major demands: an examination of the legality of the investigation, ensuring that the information made public aligns with the public’s right to know, and confirming the adequacy of current laws in protecting human rights.
The groups specifically requested clarity on the media’s role and the police’s response to the allegations against the late actor, particularly from the time the drug use reports surfaced until his death. They questioned if there was any inappropriate media engagement by the public relations officers or investigators involved in the case.
Notably, they pointed to the media coverage on November 24th, when Lee Sun Kyun was cleared of drug use by a National Forensic Service assessment. The groups are seeking clarification on how and why certain investigation details were provided to KBS for reporting, and whether it was legal to conduct all three summonses as public inquiries.
The statement also questioned whether the media reporting from the initial investigation stage genuinely served the public’s right to know and the public interest, citing instances where private conversations unrelated to the allegations were disclosed. They requested that any media articles not serving the correct purpose be retracted.
Finally, the cultural organizations called upon the government and the National Assembly for legislative improvements. Even if the investigative procedures were legal, they urged for a review to ensure that current laws protect human rights without confusing the principles and exceptions between a suspect’s rights and the public’s right to know.