Korean prostitutes protest brothel crackdown

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of prostitutes and pimps rallied near a red-light district in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday to protest a police crackdown on brothels, with some attempting, unsuccessfully, to set themselves on fire.

A crowd of about 400, mostly women wearing baseball caps, masks and sunglasses, chanted slogans such as, "Guarantee the right to live!" during the four-hour rally.

At one point, about 20 protesters in their underwear and covered in body and face paint doused themselves in flammable liquid in an apparent attempt to burn themselves, but others stopped them. Some of the women then sat in the street and wept and screamed.

The rally comes weeks after officials began stationing police cars near brothels in a bid to drive away people looking to pay for sex.