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Court upholds ban on Oct. 3 rallies amid COVID-19 woes

Steel fences to prevent mass rallies have been set up in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Yonhap)
Steel fences to prevent mass rallies have been set up in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Yonhap)
A Seoul court on Tuesday upheld bans on anti-government protests planned for the weekend, including a drive-thru rally, amid concerns over coronavirus infections.

In two separate rulings, the Seoul Administrative Court rejected requests by conservative civic groups to suspend Seoul authorities' bans on their plans to hold rallies in the capital on Oct. 3, the National Foundation Day.

One organization, which had led mass anti-government demonstrations in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Aug. 15, had planned to hold a rally in the same place with 1,000 participants on Saturday.

"The ban appears to have been imposed in consideration that more than 1000 people are expected to participate and (the organizers) lacked rational and concrete measures to prevent infection," judge Jang Nak-won of the court said in the ruling against the group's complaint.

"It does not constitute a violation of freedom of assembly," he added.

Following the ruling, the group said it will hold one-man rallies in Gwanghwamun, urging participants to gather there while following anti-virus rules. (Yonhap)

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