A South Korea-based civic group focused on human rights in North Korea says the communist regime still runs four political prisons since leader Kim Jong-un took power.
NK Watch shared the observation in a report released on Friday. It was compiled based on testimonies from North Korean defectors, including the group’s representative, Ahn Myeong-chol, who worked as a security guard at one of the political prison camps in the North.
According to the report, the political prisons in operation are No. 14 in Gaechon, South Pyongan Province, No. 15 in Yodok in South Hamgyong Province, No. 16 in Myonggan, North Hamgyong Province and No. 25 in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province.
Those facilities imprison 30-thousand, 50-thousand, 30-thousand to 50-thousand and five-thousand prisoners, respectively.
The report said the North had eight other political prions but six of them were closed in the 1990s, while the two others followed suit in 2002 and 2012.
It noted that although the prisons were partially closed under pressure from the international community, those incarcerated in the now-defunct institutions were not released but sent to the remaining prisons.