Sunday, June 22, 2008

China Persecution of North Koreans

Fleeing North Koreans - especially Christians - find that the Chinese are no big help in providing asylum the brutality and state-sanctioned killing in North Korea. While thousands of North Koreans seek asylum in China, it is believed by Human Rights Watch and other human-rights organizations that China actively contributes to the misery of North Koreans by arresting and forcibly repatriating the tens or hundreds of thousands of them.

Once returned to North Korea, they face abuse, mistreatment, torture, incarceration and sometimes even death. These victims include women, some with children, who may be in de facto marriages to Chinese men. Some of the worst torture and mistreatment is said to be perpetrated against North Korean Christians

Chinese government officials - no paragons of human rights - continue to routinely repatriate the North Koreans it finds, saying their plight is a "domestic matter" for North Korea. This is a violation of Beijing's duty as a party to the International Refugee Convention and Protocol: people who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home are not to be repatriated. The Chinese government goes as far as refusing to give the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees access to the border area in order to investigate complaints. This is a bold act designed to coverup the atrocities committed against North Koreans.

The North Korean government ranks among the world's most repressive, and it respects hardly any basic human rights, according to human-rights experts. The regime arrests and tortures its citizens arbitrarily and runs large-scale prison camps for those who are accused of having committed a political offense. The worst treatment by the North Korean government appears to be reserved for those who profess their Christianity, according to the human-rights group Open Doors.

[The Post Chronicle]

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