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Police Arrest 25 KTWU Members, Including President

Posted June. 30, 2004 22:20,   


Police arrested 25 high-ranking members of the Korean Teachers and Educational Worker’s Union (KTWU), including President Won Young-man, on charges of violating laws related to demonstration and assembly last Tuesday. They are now under investigation in five police stations including Jungrang police stations.

“Because despite our order for dispersion, high-raking union members of KTWU, who had held a sit-down demonstration from last Wednesday, continued gathering even after sunset, we arrested them,” said a police spokesperson. “Under the supervision of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors’ Office, they are now under investigation on charges of violating laws related to demonstration and assembly.”

The 25 union members, including union leaders and 16 heads of chapters, staged a sit-down demonstration starting from last Wednesday, calling for “securing personnel postulated by court and legalizing the standard number of teaching classes,” around the rear gate of the Government Complex, which is located in Sejongro, Jongro-gu, Seoul, targeting the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development it holds.

However, police sternly said, “It has nothing to do with KTWUs recent anti-war campaign in schools,” which is triggering controversy in the nation.

In response to this, the KTWU held news conference yesterday, stating, “After sunset, they were merely sitting down without doing anything that appeared to be a demonstration. At that moment, police came to arrest our members.” They also, criticized, saying, “Police, having remained silent about the gathering for one week after its declaration, suddenly exerted their power ahead of the inauguration of new Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan.”

The KTWU declared it would hold rallies to denounce such actions until they are released.

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com