SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hundreds of prostitutes and pimps are rallying near a red-light district in Seoul to protest a police crackdown on brothels.

A crowd of about 400 people, mostly women wearing baseball caps, masks and sunglasses, chanted slogans like “Guarantee the right to live!” at Tuesday’s rally.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea but is widespread despite repeated government crackdowns.

A cyclist passes by prostitutes wearing caps and masks to cover their identities as they stage a rally to protest against the enacted anti-prostitution law in Seoul, South Korea. Pic: AP.

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

The sex workers accuse a nearby department store of pushing police to take such measures. Police deny the claim.

A group of prostitutes on Sunday placed large piles of coins on the department store’s floors in protest.

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