Dec. 6, 2006
Rights Commission Urges End to FTA Protest Ban
The National Human Rights Commission recommended Tuesday that the police lift a ban on a protests against a free trade agreement between Korea and the U.S. The commission made the decision at an extraordinary meeting after the Korea Alliance against KORUS FTA made a request for emergency action on the police ban Monday. Police pledged to prevent a protest an affiliate of the alliance said it will hold in Seoul Plaza and Jongmyo Park on Wednesday.
The commission said freedom of assembly is a basic right guaranteed in the Constitution. It advised the two sides to agree on a peaceful rally by exchanging a memorandum of understanding or holding a joint news conference.
But the alliance rejected the recommendation, saying making an agreement with police would set a bad precedent. It said anyone is entitled to hold a demonstration just by reporting it to police in advance. The National Police Agency said it will not lift the protest ban since the alliance boycotted the recommendation.