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The protestors were also demonstrating against police brutality and the Korean government’s practice of criminalizing peaceful protests.
On November 14, 2015, during a massive demonstration against labor reform, many workers - among whom Sang-gyun Han, President of the Korean Confederation of Workers (KCTU) - were arrested and charged with crimes related to public order. At the moment their case is being examined in Korea and they may be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
On the same day, Nam-gi Baek, a farmer who participated in the protest to demand the government to raise the price of rice, was injured by a police water cannon. Since then – for more than 200 days - he has remained unconscious. It is ironic that none of those responsible for the repression have been put on trial, while peaceful demonstrators are facing criminal charges.
PSI expresses its solidarity with the Korean workers and people and calls on the government:
The Special Rapporteur's report on Korea is now available.