Seoul Subway Protest Leads to Detention of Disability Rights Group Leader

SEOUL - Park Kyoung-seok, the leader of a disability rights advocacy group, was detained during a subway protest in Seoul, amid increasing tensions over the group's demonstrations.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Park, aged 63 and the leader of Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (SADD), was taken into custody at Hyehwa Station at 8:50 a.m. He faces charges of obstructing business and violating the Railroad Safety Act. The arrest occurred during a morning rush-hour protest by the group, which resumed this week after a two-month pause.

The group, active since 2021, has been conducting protests to demand greater government funding for the rights of people with disabilities, including mobility rights. Their actions, particularly in the subway system, have been a point of contention.

In response to the resumed protests, Seoul Metro implemented measures to prevent the group from entering subway stations and boarding trains. This included police assistance and legal actions against what are deemed illegal acts. Seoul Metro's decision has been criticized by SADD as unconstitutional and in violation of laws promoting transportation convenience for those with mobility disadvantages.

During a press conference on a subway platform, Park announced that the group would postpone their scheduled protest on December 1 if the government and the ruling party agree to increase the budget for mobility rights in the National Assembly.

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