Thursday, June 08, 2006

Treatment of humanitarian workers in China and North Korea

I fully acknowledge China's right to protect its borders and concern about the flood of North Korean refugees, but you have a wealth of humanitarian organizations who wish to alleviate this problem. In fact, two years ago we got letters of commitment from twelve humanitarian organizations who wished to help establish a refugee camp to help relieve China of any burden for these refugees.

There are many organizations that have left North Korea in protest of the government's diversion of their humanitarian aid, that would be more than willing to assist these North Koreans wherever they are.

In essence, we have a situation where a government is terrorizing starving, helpless refugees and also terrorizing humanitarian workers who are simply in China to feed and shelter these refugees.

Today there are at least ten humanitarian workers in Chinese jails -- ten that we know of. Since they must work clandestinely to try to save people’s lives, there may be many others.

[Excerpt from speech by Suzanne Scholte at Congressional-Executive Commission on China Issues Roundtable] more

Suzanne Scholte is President of the Defense Forum Foundation and Chairman of North Korea Freedom Day being sponsored by the North Korea Freedom Coalition. She is also a Founding Board Member of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and a Founding Member and Advisor of the North Korea Freedom Coalition.

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