RTE News | Monday, 9 June 2008
Korean man dies after beef protest
A South Korean man has died in hospital two weeks after setting himself ablaze in protest at a deal to resume US beef imports.
Lee Byong-Ryol, 40, had received treatment for serious burns at Hallym University Medical Centre in western Seoul since he doused himself with paint thinner and set himself on fire on 25 May.
He was taking part in a street rally in Jeonju, 240km south of Seoul, denouncing the agreement made in April to reopen the country’s markets to US beef.
An official at the intensive care unit said that Mr Lee had been in critical condition with serious burns over 87% of his body.
Tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in recent weeks, citing the supposed dangers of the human form of mad cow disease from the imports.
Demonstrators have called for another big candlelight rally tomorrow in Seoul.
At a protest in the capital last week, a 56-year-old man attempted to commit suicide in a similar way but is not in critical condition, according to police.
Last year Heo Se-Ok, 56, set himself on fire in protest at the country’s free trade deal with the United States and died two weeks afterwards.
- (source: Chamsaesang)