Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Human Rights Violation in North Korea - Re-education camps

An article from Chosun about North Korean Re-education camps. 

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Translation : North Korea's re-education wasteland: "Have a shovel. Now you're on your own"
There are at least 480 political prisons and forced labor camps operating in North Korea.
There are 210 forced labor camps, 23 re-education camps, 5 refining camps, 27 assembly centers, and 6 political prisons, according to the findings released by North Korea Human Rights Record Center on the 26th. 13,000 North Korean defectors were asked to testify for this find.
North Korean detention facilities are similar to South Korean jails. These are located in every city, district, and borough of NK. Assembly centers and refining camps are legally justified detention facilities in NK. Since 2000, they are often used to detain citizens who tried to defect, usually without trial. Convicts who have gone through trials must serve time in re-education camps. The worst human rights violation happens in political prisons, and so far 6 have been identified. (More after jump)

"They took 500 prisoners to a complete wasteland, gave us shovels, and forced us to dig holes in the ground and live in them. A lot of people died", said a NK defector who was detained in Ham-Heung re-education camp in the 1990s. Another said "people in re-education camps had to sleep in an open field with just stacks of rice straws." The facilities rarely provided food, and the prisoners were forced to survive by growing their own harvests.
Sometimes animal sheds were used as prisons. "a pigpen was enforced with walls and was used as re-education camps. It was supposed to hold about 30 people, but over 100 were forced in it" said another defector.
Interrogation by North Korea's secret police generally came with severe violence. Defectors were "beaten till their toenails came off", "beaten till their lips and nose were broken and left without treatment". Female defectors were "raped by prison guards and were forced to have abortion."
NK Human Rights Record Center claims that North Korea does not reveal the existence of these facilities to the outside world, or provides falsified information about them. NK only acknowledged 3 of the 23 re-education camps, and runs them as exhibition centers for public.
NK Human Rights Record Center's director Yoon said, "North Korea runs enough detention facilities all over the nation to be called a "prison republic."

 Dark star : Political Prisons, Double circle: Assembly Centers, Dark Square: Re-Education Camps, Dark Diamond: Refining Camps, Grey Circle: Detention Centers, Grey Triangle: Forced Labor Camps.

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