SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court sentenced the leader of a major labor group to five years in jail on Monday for leading a violent protest last year against the labor reform policy of President Park Geun-hye.
Han Sang-gyun, the head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the more strident of the country's two umbrella labor groups, turned himself over to police in December after evading arrest for weeks following the Nov. 14 protest rally.
Han was convicted of violating laws on public assembly and protests as well as obstruction of operation of public service, the court said.
The Nov. 14 rally involved more than 60,000 demonstrators, some of whom wielded steel pipes and clashed with police wearing riot gear, in the biggest and most violent protest of Park's presidency, which began in early 2013.
Park's plan to reform the labor market to enable employers to dismiss workers based on performance and cap salaries of senior staff to encourage youth employment have prompted sharp objections from organized labor.
KCTU has about 626,000 members, according to government data.
Rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that the sentencing was against the right of peaceful assembly in the country, saying Han was punished as an organizer of an event for the acts of others who engaged in violence.
(Reporting by Jack Kim)