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Disrupting a one-person protest in front of the presidential office is a violation of free speech
The NHRCK recommended the captain of the security conduct training to prevent recurrence
On April 17, 2023, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Chairperson Song Doo-hwan, hereinafter referred to as the "NHRCK") recommended that the Chief of Security of the ○○ Police Agency provide job training to the respondents who moved the complainant who attempted to hold a one-person protest in front of the Presidential Office.
On May 13, 2022, the complainant took a taxi to the main entrance of the Presidential Office to hold a one-person protest and tried to get off with a picket and a loudspeaker, but the respondents detained him and forced him to get into the taxi with them and drive to Noksapyeong Station, about 800 meters from the main entrance of the Presidential Office, and then get off, which prevented him from holding a one-person protest.
The Human Rights Committee concluded that the respondents' actions violated the principle of excessive funding and violated the complainant's freedom of expression guaranteed by article 21 of the Constitution for the following reasons. The complainant's one-person demonstration was an exercise of her fundamental right to freedom of expression and was not a rally or demonstration covered by the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations, so there was no violation of the prior notification and venue permits; the respondents were unable to provide evidence of the imminent entry of the President's vehicle at the time, making it difficult to accept the claim that the restriction of the complainant's one-person demonstration was necessary for security purposes; Article 6 of the Law on the Execution of the Duties of Police Officers provides that police officers may warn relevant persons or restrict their conduct in urgent cases where there is a reasonable possibility that a criminal act may be committed in front of them, or where there is a risk of harm to human life or body or serious damage to property, but it is difficult to see how the complainant's one-person protest falls into this category.
Therefore, The NHRCK recommended the captain of the security conduct training to prevent recurrence not to violate the freedom of speech.