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Police violent to protestors against import of unsafe US beef in Seoul

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seoul.jpgThere had been a series of candlelight rallies in South Korea to protest the import of unsafe U.S beef, while calling for the re-negotiation of trade agreements so that it reflects the concern for health and safety of consumers. In this article, FORUM-ASIA member in Seoul, the Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, gives us a commentary about the on-going rallies and violence against protestors by riot police.

Police violent to protestors against import of unsafe US beef in Seoul

(Seoul) South Koreans have been organising candlelight rallies to protest the import of unsafe U.S. beef, while calling for re-negotiation of trade agreements so that it reflects concerns of consumers for health and safety measures in the food product.

Since its official announcement, South Korea’s agreement to resume U.S. beef import despite concerns for mad cow disease has prompted its citizens to hold on-going protests as the people fear the agreement could be detrimental to their welfare and health.

According to Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), a FORUM-ASIA’s member in Seoul, the rallies began on 2 May with approximately 20,000 citizens, and reached its peak on 31 May when an estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets with placards and banners saying no to the government’s actions on the meat import.

They were later prevented from holding the demonstration in front of the presidential offices by the police who used water cannons and mobilized special units to disperse the crowd. PSPD said that many protestors came forward to speak out against police violence during the rally.

The organization added that riot police also took up to 500 protestors to the police station for questioning since the beginning of the rallies.

“The aggressive suppression of the people by the police and the arbitrary questioning of protestors by police authorities is an infringement of citizen's rights to assembly and free speech,” said PSDP in their website.

For source of article, background and further information, read the website of the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, FORUM-ASIA's member in South Korea.