Wednesday April 18, 2007
Anti-Fta Rally Expected in Seoul in Memory of Dead Protester
SEOUL, April 18 Asia Pulse — A massive rally is expected in downtown Seoul Wednesday as thousands of protesters are to gather to pay tribute to a man who burnt himself to death in protest of free trade talks between South Korea and the United States, police said.
Taxi driver Huh Se-wook doused himself with flammable liquid and set it on fire on April 1 while shouting slogans that opposed a free trade agreement (FTA) proposed between Seoul and Washington.
He died on Sunday at a Seoul hospital where he had received treatment for third-degree burns.
Huh, who belonged to a taxi drivers’ union, had left a statement that said an FTA with the U.S. would harm the livelihoods of common people and farmers.
Police warned of the possibility of the rally turning violent, with protesters likely to demand the government withdraw the free trade deal it struck with the U.S. on April 2 after 10 months of talks.
The agreement still requires ratification by the legislatures of both countries.