Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vocal North Korean Refugees Censored with Threats

Research reveals that one in five North Korean defectors who criticized the South Korean government or North Korean regime receive warnings or threats from [South Korean] administration officials.

According to a report by the National Human Rights Commission, “Research Report on Improvements in the Human Rights Situation of North Korean Escapees Living in South Korea,” 16% of escapees reported that they don’t have freedom of speech in South Korea today.
19% of escapees who had criticized the South Korean government, the North Korean regime, or Kim Jong Il [in writing] received a warning or threat by administration officials.

Another 18% responded that they were disadvantaged in the distribution of their initial government settlement benefit and living subsidies. Most escapees believed they had been discriminated against during the settlement process. Seven out of 10 reported being discriminated against at work, and more than half said they had been discriminated against in the promotion process.

Around half of North Korean-born students conceal their origins from their friends, and about 20% feel isolated by their peers at school because they are North Korean.

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