Wednesday, March 30, 2005

North Korea Human Rights Review

The UN Commission on Human Rights will hear a report on human rights in North Korea, including a screening of the execution video that I have posted here. The video is no longer on line, but there is an abbreviated report in English here.

North Korean Rights Abuses, Public Execution, Under Spotlight from CNS News.
Pacific Rim Bureau ( - The situation in North Korea takes center stage this week at the U.N. Commission for Human Rights meeting in Geneva, where campaigners plan to screen secretly filmed footage of a recent public execution in the Stalinist state.

Former inmates of North Korea's notorious prison camps also will tell their stories and describe the plight of tens of thousands of others still there.

On Tuesday, a U.N. special rapporteur delivered a report to member states, urging immediate action to stop numerous rights abuses in North Korea.

The rapporteur, Thai law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, was appointed under a resolution passed at last year's commission session. Since his appointment, Pyongyang has refused him access to the country.
Of course the DPRK denies that they abuse their inmates citizens.
Responding to Muntarbhorn's report, North Korean representative Choe Myong-nam said his country did not accept the rapporteur's mandate.

Choe dismissed the report as "tricky political propaganda" and said it was part of a "plot" by hostile forces who "would not hesitate in fabricating anything with a view to overthrowing the state system of the country."
And, the Dear Murdering Freak knows about the video.
Violations in North Korea will be highlighted further on Thursday, when non-governmental organizations in Geneva show a movie clip of a public execution reported to have taken place on March 2.

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), a Japan-based NGO, said the footage was secretly taped in Yuson district near the Chinese border and smuggled out at great risk.

The clip shows a cursory public "trial" in an empty lot of two people, accused of illegal border crossing and human trafficking. One is sentenced to death, and the other to 10 years' imprisonment.

The blurry footage shows the execution, watched by a crowd, carried out minutes later. The condemned person is tied to a post and three soldiers ordered, in Korean, to "aim at the enemy ... fire."

As the soldiers force the body into a sack with apparent difficulty, an official is heard to intone: "You have witnessed how miserable fools end up. Traitors who betray the nation and its people end up like this."

According to LFNKR, North Korean defectors have corroborated key aspects of the footage, saying the execution depicted was similar to ones they had themselves witnessed in past years.

Refugee flight

The NGO noted that the region were the execution took place was on a major escape route into China, and said it was likely the regime intended the public killing as a warning to others not to try cross the border.

Last Friday, Seoul's Chosun Ilbo newspaper said in a report citing ethnic Korean sources in China that North Korean authorities had begun a large-scale investigation aimed at finding out who had filmed the execution.
That will, of course, require large amounts of killing.

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