Saturday, September 30, 2006

Korean Bar Association on North Korea human rights

The Korean Bar Association yesterday released a report on the human rights situation in North Korea, after two years of data collection and interviews with 100 North Korean defectors who came to the South after 2000.

According to the report, 90 percent of those surveyed said the North Korean law enforcement authorities do not abide by legal processes in arresting suspects or detaining them in jails.

About 22 percent of them experienced or heard from others that the authorities do not allow suspects to sleep during investigation, while 21.1 percent said torture was widespread. Some 17 percent directly or indirectly experienced abusive language and sexual harassment during investigation, and 17.5 percent underwent investigation for more than two months without an arrest warrant.

Prison inmates also usually suffer from torture and maltreatment, including abusive language, sexual harassment and beatings. Political offenders face compulsory labor 12-15 hours a day, according to the report.

In the case of female inmates, 57.7 percent of the defectors said they saw or heard that pregnant women were forced to have abortions.

Some of the surveyed also testified about illegal public executions.

The association has published reports on South Korea’s human rights every year since 1989, but this is the first time that it has released one on the North.

[Excerpt of a article by Kim Rahn, The Korea Times]

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