11/20/2018, 15.42
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Buddhist monks perform three-steps-and-one-prostration-bow demanding justice for dead migrant

The rare ritual was performed for almost two kilometres, from the Jogye order headquarters to the presidential residence. Monks want to reopen the case of Than Zaw Htay, who fell during a raid by the Incheon Immigration Office.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Several Korean monks performed a rare religious ritual (pictured) on Monday in Seoul to demand the government investigate the death of a Myanmar migrant worker two months ago.

The pro-immigration monks repeated the three-steps-and-one-prostration-bow practice, starting from Jogyesa in Jongno-gu, Seoul ― the headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism – to the presidential residence Cheong Wa Dae or Blue House, some 1.6 kilometres away.

A monk held a black and white photo of Than Zaw Htay, who fell eight metres at a construction site in Gimpo as he tried to escape an Incheon immigration office raid targeting illegal immigrants on 22 August.

The 25-year-old man was taken to hospital but died 13 days later. Initially, police said he committed suicide, later changing the cause to accidental death.

The social and labour committee of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism called on the Justice Ministry to reopen the case.

Some 30 people took part in the protest, describing the Incheon immigration inspectors' handling of the incident a "murderous raid."

Witnesses said inspectors grabbed the worker's legs as he was escaping through a window, causing him to lose footing and fall.

Committee president Ven Haechan described Monday's religious practice as "our physical proclamation carrying our desperate request for the truth and intent for those responsible to be punished."

The venerable called for a “stop to this murderous raid in a 'rabbit-herding' style that has already killed 10 migrant workers, including the Myanmarese, in the past 10 years."

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