South Korean lawmakers to propose new law against cyberbullying after death of K-Pop actress and singer Sulli

Sylvia Looi
Nine South Korean lawmakers are proposing a bill for a new law against cyberbullying following the death of actress and singer Sulli. ― Picture via Instagram/jelly_jilli

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 ― Following the death of South Korean actress and singer Sulli, nine members of the country's National Assembly will put forward a bill for a new law against cyberbullying.

Korean pop culture site Allkpop reported that the law aims to enforce strict rules against malicious comments that are posted anonymously.

A sub-committee will gather to review details and clauses within the “Sulli Law” some time in early December, on the 49th day after the late singer/actress Sulli's passing.

Representatives from the National Art and Culture Association, the Celebrity Soccer Association, the National Labor Union of Entertainment Employees, the Korean Government Employees' Union, as well as celebrities who have previously fallen victim to malicious comments and their acquaintances will sit in the sub-committee.

This came after a petition calling for “strong punishment” on online harassers tied to the apparent suicide of Sulli gathered more than 1,000 signatures at Seoul's presidential Blue House.

UPI  reported that petitioners had posted an online statement on Tuesday to the presidential office of Moon Jae-in, requesting the government take direct measures against individuals who bullied Sulli.

At 3.10pm local time, 1,586 people had signed the petition.

Allkpop reported that Sulli had previously requested her agency SM Entertainment to initiate legal action against malicious comments.

Quoting Busan Report, the site said that Sulli went through a hard time dealing with negative comments saying that she had consistently asked her label to take action on these comments.

Although the agency did announce in 2018 that they would be taking actions, it later said it could not proceed with the matter as the IP address of the users was registered in a foreign country.

Sulli had been a target for cyberbullies, who often criticised her choice of clothing and her decision to go braless as she disliked “the wires”.

In a related development, Korean police announced it would be conducting a post-mortem on Sulli to determine her cause of death.

The 25-year-old was found unconscious in a bedroom on the second floor of her home by her manager on Monday.

The Seongnam Sujeong Police Station had yesterday announced that they would be conducting a post-mortem with her family's consent.

Sulli, or her real name Choi Jin-ri, first gained attention as a child actress, playing the young Princess Seonhwa of Silla in the SBS drama Ballad of Seodong before her debut with K-Pop girl group in f(x) debut in 2009.

She took a year-long hiatus in 2014 and chose to leave the group to pursue an acting career, appearing in various dramas and films with her most recent appearance being in the popular TV drama Hotel del Luna.

Earlier this year she released the single Goblin surprising fans, who thought she had retired from music.

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