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NGO Publishes Report on Torture in N. Korean Penal System

Written: 2023-03-24 16:26:45Updated: 2023-03-24 16:32:20

NGO Publishes Report on Torture in N. Korean Penal System

Photo : YONHAP News

A British organization dedicated to North Korean human rights has published a report that documents human rights violations reported at detainment facilities in the North based on interviews with defectors. 

According to a report released by London-based Korea Future Initiative, some 72-hundred cases of torture, forced labor, sexual violence and other violations took place at North Korean prisons from 1991 to the present, involving over eleven-hundred victims and over 900 perpetrators. Two-hundred-six such detainment facilities have been identified by the group.

The most common types of violation in nearly 16-hundred cases related to hygiene, nutrition and health, followed by depriving the right to freedom of expression and inhumane treatment.

The report mentioned the case of a pregnant North Korean woman in her 30s who was arrested in China and repatriated back to the North where she was forced to get an abortion and was subject to re-education for three years.

Another man in his 40s was detained and tortured for 18 months for smuggling activities and aiding other North Koreans in fleeing the country. During his incarceration, he lost more than a third of his body weight in one month, dropping from 60 to 37 kilograms.

The report said the findings show that torture and other acts committed at detention facilities confirm the final responsibility lies with state agencies.

The report was drawn up based on interviews with 269 defectors that took place between March 2021 and October last year.

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