Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A petition calling for "strong punishment" of online harassers tied to the apparent suicide of a K-pop star has gathered more than 1,000 signatures at Seoul's presidential Blue House.
Sulli, a former member of South Korean girl band f(x) found dead at her home Monday, had been the target of cyberbullying. She questioned the need for women to wear bras and opened up about her mental health issues, but was met with malicious comments online.
On Tuesday, petitioners posted an online statement to the presidential office of Moon Jae-in, requesting the government take direct measures against individuals who bullied Sulli, News 1 reported.
The petition titled, "We seek strong punishment for the cyberbullies who drove celebrity Sulli of f(x) to suicide," stated cyberbullying is a recurring problem in Korea, where competition with peers at a young age has been cited as a source of mental health issues.
"We seek strong punishment for the cyberbullies who drove Sulli to death. Last year [name withheld] made a fatal choice while battling extreme depression.
"If the law does not change, this could happen again. The law needs to be revised so cyberbullies can be more severely punished."
By 3:10 p.m. local time, 1,586 people had signed the petition. If the petition reaches 200,000 signatures in 30 days, a Blue House official must respond within a month to the activists.
Cyberbullying has become common in South Korea with the rise of social media. Harassers maintain their anonymity while typically targeting celebrities and other public figures.
Law enforcement could be stepping up measures in the wake of Sulli's death.
Yonhap reported Tuesday local police forwarded to prosecution two defendants for "defaming" Song Hye-kyo, one of Korea's top-billed actresses.
The individuals made unfounded claims Song was being "sponsored" or providing sexual services to a wealthy Chinese donor in return for compensation. The claims were made online while Song was undergoing divorce from Song Joong-ki in June.