Monday, March 05, 2007

Sad story of American Consulate violating norms of human decency

If you haven't already seen it, check out One Free Korea and the sad story of how American Consulate officials in Shenyang, China, violated the norms of human decency in the case of the Shenyang Six, includng a personal account by Adrian Hong of LiNK.

Background on The Shenyang Six: The six North Korean refugees were captured just before Christmas along with two Americans who had been sheltering them in safe houses in another city. The 6 North Korean refugees tried, but failed, to obtain sanctuary in the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, China. The six had been in jail, awaiting deportation under China's policy regarding the North Korean refugees it tracks down. (China's treatment of the North Koreans violates the International Convention Regarding the Status of Refugees, to which it is a party and which bars "refoulement," or the repatriation of refugees to places where their lives or freedom would be in jeopardy. North Koreans who are sent home by Beijing face execution or a term in one of Kim Jong Il's prison camps, which can amount to a death sentence.)

Excerpt from a Wall Street Journal editorial page, January 04, 2007: "As Adrian Hong, executive director of LiNK, was being escorted from jail, he he passed the cell where several of the North Koreans were being held. "There is nothing like looking in the eyes of someone who thinks they are going to die," he says. "They all had that look - like there was no hope."

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