Saturday, March 25, 2006

North Korean Prison Camp: Lee-young Gahl

Lee-young Gahl used to be a famous basketball player in North Korea. He ended up in a political prison camp simply because his father was a landowner.

One day, Mr. Gahl found the ox-tail whip [that one of the guards] used to carry, soaked it in water to soften it, and ate it in secret.

When this was discovered the following day, [the guard] brutally beat him in front of all the prisoners. He then ordered the supervisor to bring squirming roundworms from the toilets, which had been put on a stick, and the heartless security officer forced it into the mouth of the helpless Mr. Gahl, who was on the ground.

That night, he ran a high fever and his body swelled up from the severe assault he had suffered. With his head on my legs as a pillow, he let out sighs saying: "Yong, all I did was inherit what my father had left me. Is it such a horrendous crime? Do I really deserve this kind of punishment?"

After three days he died.

--As related by Yong Kim, who escaped from a political prison camp in North Korea, and after living as a refugee in China, arrived safely in South Korea via China and Mongolia one year later.

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