Police question disabled advocacy group chief over rush-hour subway protests

SEOUL-- Police on Monday questioned the head of a disabled advocacy group over daily rush-hour subway riding protests that the group staged to demand better mobility rights.

Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (SADD) was sued by Seoul Metro on charges of delaying train operations in Seoul on six occasions between January and November of last year by staging subway protests to call for the improvement of disability rights.

The protests continued into this year, but SADD halted them last week, asking finance minister nominee Rep. Choo Kyoung-ho to provide an official answer to its demand for budgetary funds for disability rights in the 2023 fiscal plan at his confirmation hearing on May 2.

SADD leader Park Kyoung-seok told reporters this marks the first police investigation into an act of riding subways, claiming criticism from President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's transition team and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) chief Lee Jun-seok led to the investigation.

The PPP chief has been posting messages critical of SADD on his social media pages, saying the group has caused inconveniences to many citizens by holding them "hostages."

Choi Gwan-ho, Commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, said that expression of disabled people's rights is important, but SADD's daily protests should be restricted to a certain extent as they "infringe upon innocent citizens' rights."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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