Saturday, August 09, 2008

North Korean refugee stages lone China protest in Washington DC

A North Korean defector recently admitted to the United States has been staging a hunger strike in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, in protest of China’s repatriation of North Korean defectors.

Cho Jin-hae’s sit-in of the past few days comes as U.S. President George W. Bush attends the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.

“I personally talked to President Bush on the North Korean defectors issue, but I thought the president, who is attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics, will be able to better remember and focus on the North Korean defectors issue if I stage a hunger strike,” Cho, a 21-year-old woman, said.

Cho, who was admitted to the United States along with her mother and sister in March at the end of a saga in which she was repatriated to the North three times, urged Olympics host nation China to become a country of gold medals in human rights.

Cho said Chinese authorities are holding hundreds of North Korean defectors at a detention center in Domun, a city along the border with North Korea, in a crackdown because of the Olympics. “Some are fasting and others have committed suicide,” she said, noting she recently received a phone call from a North Korean defector in China.


1 comment:

batch said...

Is anyone going to hold China to account on the promises it made that hosting the Olympics would improve human rights in China?

It must not forcibly return North Korean refugees to their country where their lives are in danger. Just like it must let people practice whatever religion they choose, it must let journalist go about their business without censorship, it must tell peaceful human rights defenders go about their business, it must let ethnic minorities to express their culture.

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