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Around 30,000 South Korean women protest spy cams

Gorkha Post

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SEOUL — Some 30,000 South Korean women — in the biggest women’s rights march in the country’s history — took to the streets of Seoul on Saturday protesting against illegal filming and photography with spy cameras, as well as police gender discrimination when it comes to probes into sexual crimes.

The participants, many of them wearing masks for fear of exposure, marched from Hyehwa Station in South Korean capital of Seoul, to protest what they say is a lackluster response of law enforcement to men spying on unsuspecting female victims in public bathrooms, on crowded trains, buses and in other public places with hidden cameras, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Saturday’s rally is the second time in two months that women have hit the streets to protest the impunity of the perpetrators of such crimes, who are predominantly male.

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The rally organizers said in a press release on Friday that it was common “for Korean women to be exposed to illegal filming anytime and anywhere, and to deal with negligent police investigation, secondary harm, and the obscene expressions by the press.”

A similar rally on May 19, drew in at least 12,000 women. Just like on Saturday, the demonstrators were covering their faces with masks and printed camera images.

The current wave of protests was sparked by an incident in early May, when a woman was arrested for filming and spreading the image of a nude male model posing for an art class at Hongik University.

Police acted swiftly and not only brought the suspect to justice, but also paraded her in front of the media, albeit, with her face covered. The case became the last straw for many women, who saw gender bias in the police’s zealousness.

Agencies

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Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

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CALIFORNIA — Koko, the beloved gorilla who was able to communicate in more than 1,000 signs, has died at 46 in California’s Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

The Gorilla Foundation said the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve.

Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.

Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific test subject and eventually learned more than 1,000 words, a vocabulary similar to that of a human toddler.

She became a celebrity who played with the likes of William Shatner, Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams and Mr Rogers.

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At her home preserve, where she was treated like a queen, she ran around with Williams’ eyeglasses and unzipped Roger’s famous cardigan sweater.

The foundation said Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions.

“Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication,” the Gorilla Foundation said in a statement.

“She was beloved and will be deeply missed.”

Koko appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic.

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