An Indonesian woman, whose face was badly injured after being beaten up by a South Korean bouncer in Busan, claimed she was attacked because of her nationality.
South Korean authorities are now investigating the brawl, which happened around midnight last Friday at a local club. The incident, which left 21-year-old Jessica Setia’s face bruised and wounded, has sparked outrage after images of her bloodied face appeared on social media.
In an interview with Korea Herald, Setia claimed that the bouncer attacked her for no other reason than her being Indonesian.
“They let my friends, who hold Korean nationality, in easily. And when it comes to me and my Indonesian friend, he made it difficult (for us to enter the club,)” Setia was quoted as saying.
She stated that she was prompted to push the bouncer back after he had pushed her other Indonesian friend and threw her ID card on the pavement. The bouncer then started punching Setia’s mouth repeatedly until her lips were bleeding. She was rushed to a hospital where her lips were given eight stitches.
Her friend, identified only as Gabrielle, believes that the brawl was directly linked to her ethnicity.
“I am used to people looking down on Indonesians. I thought that he did not like foreigners so he might have been rude to us especially because we were not white Caucasians,” she said. “When we got upset and showed it to him, I think it made him angry.”
A Korean friend who was with them during the whole ordeal took to social media to narrate the same version of the story and lament how Setia will probably not receive justice.
“Most of the people there are not hopeful that she will get justice because 1. She is a foreigner and he is Korean. 2. There was no CCTV footage. 3. The only real witnesses (myself and a few others) are foreigners and were with the victim so we are biased,” Facebook user Kyla Kim wrote.
She also found it odd that none of the other Koreans in the line were asked to be witnesses.
She also noted how, when the police took the bouncer to custody, he apparently showed no remorse and didn’t even apologized for his actions.
In reaction to the claims, the club explained that identity checks are standard procedure and not based on ethnicity or gender.
“Our club checks identities of all customers, regardless of their ethnicities, through the same procedure. There is no racial discrimination at all,” the club said in a statement.
It also expressed disappointment that due to her “one-sided” argument, the establishment got heavily criticized.
According to the club, Setia used curse words first and shook her fist at the bouncer, claiming that the bouncer only tried to defend himself when he hit the woman in the face.
Busan Seomyeon Police Station stated that all those involved will be summoned at the station on Monday to testify.
“The man argues that it was a two-way assault,” an investigator was quoted as saying. “Due to the fight, the left side of his cheek became swollen, according to our investigation. We are going to further investigate the case on Monday.”