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City Hall Sets Tougher Rules on Protests in Seoul

Posted June. 23, 2009 09:29,   


The Seoul Metropolitan Government yesterday banned illegal or violent demonstrations at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall and Gwanghwamun Plaza, which will open in August.

The city said it will not allow a gathering that it believes could turn violent and cancel its approval of a public event that could so the same.

The final ordinances for the use and management of Seoul and Gwanghwamun plazas were announced, with a city official saying, “The ordinances stipulate that the city government can set conditions such as preliminary negotiations with police if the city believes a gathering could turn violent. That means the city has the authority to ban any gathering that could turn illegal or violent.”

On the reversal of permission for a public gathering, the new rules said, "When the country or city needs to use Gwanghwamun Plaza for the public interest or public security and maintain order, City Hall can reconsider its approval for an event.

Under the new rules, the city can simply inform the organizer of a canceled event instead of having to negotiate with the organizer before deciding to cancel, giving the Seoul municipal government the unilateral power to change or cancel approval of outdoor events.