A court in Seoul on Tuesday (16 June) ruled police violated the law when they banned a Pride parade scheduled for 28 June.
Police denied permits for the march, the culmination of the Korean Queer Cultural Festival, citing an expected standoff with Christian groups that would cause ‘inconvenience to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.’
The court ruled this violated LGBTI activists’ right to protest.
‘Unless there is a clear risk of danger to the public, preventing the demonstration is not allowed and should be the absolute last resort,’ it said.
Myeong Jin Kang, chairman of the festival, welcomed the ruling.
‘The court’s decision in relation to police’s unjust notice prohibiting assembly is important,’ he said.
‘Within a democratic country, built on civil society, the guarantee that society can use their voice has a deep meaning.’
When the festival opened last week, 1,000 police officers were to deployed to protect participants, who were outnumbered by protesters holding signs that read: ‘Stop same-sex marriage’ and ‘Gays out: homosexuals have no human rights.’