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Sewol victim families protest site shut down

Posted November. 11, 2014 06:35,   


The National Assembly has on Saturday dismantled the protest site in front of the National Assembly where the Sewol sinking victims’ families had camped out. It is 119 days after the bereaved families began their protest demanding the organization of a trilateral consultative body that takes part in legislation and discussion processes of a special Sewol ferry law.

“Although the special Sewol law passed the plenary on Friday, the bereaved families did not withdraw voluntarily from their picketing site,” National Assembly Secretary-General Park Hyung-jun said on Sunday. "The protest site was dismantled at around 6 a.m. on Saturday, when they withdrew."

The secretariat said, "The National Assembly could no longer watch the illegal situation and outdoors protests amid weather conditions could be enormously detrimental to the health and safety of the protesting bereaved families."

The bereaved families objected to the National Assembly’s unilateral notice of scrapping the site. "The families planned to make a decision on the withdrawal in the regular general meeting of the bereaved families on Sunday, but the National Assembly secretariat refused to wait one day and informed them of the withdrawal," Park Ju-min, the lawyer representing the Sewol ferry victims’ family committee, said in a telephone call with the Dong-A Ilbo. “In particular, their explanation that it was out of concern for the health of the bereaved families and the colder weather is a flimsy excuse."