344 people booked for participating in rallies for ferry victims

July 2, 2014
ferry

Prosecutors pledged to take stern action against such street rallies when protesters turn violent, cause illegal activities or launch rallies without prior notice, vowing to hold them criminally responsible. (Yonhap) 

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A total of 344 people have been booked for investigation on charges of participating in “illegal” street rallies on behalf of the victims of April’s ferry sinking, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said it has arrested seven people, including a leader of a militant umbrella union, for further investigation for allegedly violating relevant laws during massive protest rallies downtown.

The suspects are under suspicion of occupying public streets, assaulting riot police officers or trying to march toward the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae after holding a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy that left more than 300 people dead or missing, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors pledged to take stern action against such street rallies when protesters turn violent, cause illegal activities or launch rallies without prior notice, vowing to hold them criminally responsible.

Noticeably, the prosecution office said it will put suspects behind bars for investigation if they had previously been prosecuted for leading illegal rallies and obstruction of public duty.

The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol sank off South Korea’s southwest coast en route to the southern resort island of Jeju on April 16. Of an estimated 476 people on board, mostly high school students, 172 people were rescued and 304 people have been confirmed dead or missing.

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