Tuesday, December 09, 2008

U.S. human rights activist calls for end of North Korean gulag

American human rights investigator David Hawk, a former executive director of Amnesty International U.S.A., said Sunday in Tokyo there should be a plan for dismantling North Korea's notorious political prison camps, not just the country's nuclear facilities.

The estimates are as many as 300,000 political prisoners held in labor camps in remote regions of North Korea, with many subjected to torture and summary execution. Several former prisoners spoke at the meeting of conditions in the North Korean gulag.

On how to dismantle the prison camps, Hawk cited how Human Rights First, a prominent U.S. human rights group, came up with a blueprint for closing down the prison for terrorism suspects at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hawk suggested that a similar blueprint could be developed in consultation with former North Korean political prisoners.

[The Japan Times]

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