Friday, October 21, 2005

Babies Killed In North Korean Prison Camps, Observers Say

Forced abortion and infanticide are common practices inside North Korea's notorious prison camps, according to Christian and human rights campaigners working in the region.

Defectors to South Korea who served terms in the North's 10 or 11 large prison camps say guards force inmates to kill newborns themselves by smothering them with plastic sheeting or leaving them out in the cold to die.In cases when pregnancy is observed, miscarriages are induced through beatings, forced periods of exertion or other methods, they report.

A series of interviews carried out in South Korea and China by the Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers led the group to conclude that the killing of babies is a standard practice going back decades, HRWF's Nadia Milanova said in response to queries."They lay on their stomachs until they died. Otherwise their noses would be blocked with vinyl to induce instant death ... their bodies would be thrown to animals to be gorged."

A woman defector described watching a doctor kill two live babies by piercing their skulls with surgical scissors.

Another interviewee described pregnant women being thrown against a wall to induce an abortion, adding that heavily-pregnant women were taken away and never seen again.

A former guard said a woman with a child by a prison guard was allegedly cut open and the baby removed and killed, before the woman was herself killed.

Tim Peters, an American Christian aid worker contacted in Korea, said that a trusted colleague of his had done "extensive research on the baby killing issue ... and has found it to be all too true."

When a South Korean paper published allegations of forced abortion and infanticide in North Korean "concentration camps", Pyongyang's official Central News Agency angrily denounced the charges as a "plot deliberately hatched ... to hurl mud at the North."

Source: ,from article by Patrick Goodenough

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