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Fire Burning

January 24, 2011

An interesting thing happened to Park Rae-gun and Lee Jon-hoe. They were both convicted for trying to help victims of the Yongsan Fire Incident.

Here is the background on the fire incident:

On 19 January 2009, protestors fighting the evictions barricaded themselves inside a watchtower they had erected on the roof of a building earmarked for demolition. They gathered paint thinner and other flammable materials to deter police in the event of an attack.

Early the next morning, police commandos mounted a raid on the watchtower. As police landed on the roof to arrest the protesters, a fire broke out that claimed the lives of five protesters and a police officer.

Things went awry when Mr. Park and Mr. Lee decided to intervene by organizing protests demanding reparations for the victims:

Park Rae-gun and Lee Jong-hoe were convicted for their roles in a campaign seeking justice and reparations for the families of victims who died in a January 2009 fire while protesting evictions from their homes and businesses in Seoul’s central Yongsan district.

So I guess in South Korea, you are given a suspended sentence if you try to help others who are in need of help.

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