A civic group filed a lawsuit Thursday against the police, accusing them of abusing their authority when they blocked citizens and the families of victims in the Sewol ferry disaster from marching to Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office in Seoul.
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a left-leaning civic group, claimed that it was an unlawful exercise of authority when the police restricted the families and citizens from joining rallies or protests.
Last month, the victims’ families at Paengmok Port in Jindo, 20 km from where the Sewol ferry capsized, tried marching to Cheong Wa Dae in protest of what they viewed as inadequate rescue efforts, but were blocked from doing so by police.
Later, the police stopped ordinary citizens with yellow ribbons on their chests, who were on their way to support a sit-in protest by victims’ families, from nearing Cheong Wa Dae last Friday. The parents of deceased high school students had descended on the presidential office, demanding to meet President Park Geun-hye.
The organization plans to call on the Human Rights Commission to investigate human rights violations related to the sinking of the Sewol.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)