1

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1258

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1258

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1259

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1259

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1260

NORTH KOREA: Christian prisoners are being beaten, tortured and starved

Christian prisoners are being beaten, tortured and starved

By Julian Mann

 

Christian Today (15.12.2021) – https://bit.ly/3GTZZ9L – Christians in Communist North Korea are being tortured more than members of any other religious group, according to a new report from human rights campaigners Korea Future.

 

Torture victims interviewed for the report showed “scars and skeletal deformities” and suffered “back pain, incorrect healing of fractures, somatic complaints, and depressive disorders”.

 

Korea Future launched the report, “Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment experienced by North Korea’s Religious Minorities”, on Tuesday.

 

It is based on 237 interviews with survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of persecution who fled the Marxist dictatorship into democratic South Korea.

 

It states: “Christianity claims fewer adherents, yet it is the most severely persecuted religious tradition within North Korea.

 

“Underground churches consisting of small congregations exist in North Korea, but are rare and subject to extreme levels of persecution.”

 

According to one witness, state security officials beat to death a female Christian prisoner who had been running an underground church.

 

“Her lip was shredded. The officers held her hair and pounded her head against the cell bars. One officer told her to lay her hand on the ground. He stepped on it and turned his feet 90 degrees. All of her fingers broke. She was denied medical treatment.

 

“I told her to stop running the underground church, but she said she had church members to take care of. She later died after she was seriously physically beaten by Ministry of State Security officials,” the witness reported.

 

The report relates how the regime uses deprivation of food in penal facilities as a form of torture.

 

One survivor said: “The correctional officers chopped up frozen radish. There were only small pebbles and grains of sand served with the radish. At first, I could not eat the radish because of the small pebbles and grains of sand crunching between my teeth. But by the fifth day, I had to eat it because I was starving.”

 

Another related: “I was extremely malnourished. My bones were showing. I kept praying in the cell because that was my only refuge. If I were to say anything about my religion, I would either have been executed by firing squad at the penal facility or transferred to a political prison camp for the remainder of my life.

 

“In the penal facility, I had to scavenge grass, beans, and potatoes from the field where I was forced to labour just to survive. I ate the crops that were still covered with dirt.”

 

The report describes how the North Korean government has persecuted the followers and institutions of Korean Buddhism, Catholicism, Cheondogyo, North Korean Shamanism, and Protestantism over a period of 73 years.

 

Since the late 1950s, the “songbun class system”, formed to grade citizens’ loyalty to the regime, has meant “religious persons are classified as hostile to the state and subject to absolute discrimination and persecution”.

 

“The expansion of a political prison camp system, which detains up to three generations of families associated with religion for life, has embedded religion and belief as a de facto crime in the political and social consciousness of North Korea,” it says.

 

Photo : North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.Reuters

Further reading about FORB in North Korea on HRWF website





Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1258

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1258

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1259

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1259

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1260

NORTH KOREA: An exceptional report of Korea Future Initiative about religious persecution

 

Government raises ‘strong concerns’ about North Korea after report into horrific persecution

Christian Today (03.12.2020) – https://bit.ly/33R7Jbt – The Government has voiced “strong concerns” about religious persecution in North Korea after the release of a report documenting the horrific abuse of Christians and other people of faith in the hermit communist country.

 

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said reports from religious and human rights groups outside the country point to “severe punishment” for people of faith, including arrests, beatings and imprisonment in political camps.

 

“The UK continues to have strong concerns about the lack of freedom of religion or belief in North Korea,” Lord Ahmad said in a letter to Lord Alton.

 

He added that the evidence presented by a new report from the Korea Future Initiative (KFI) contains “disturbing accounts” of religious freedom violations in North Korea.

 

The report is based on 117 interviews with survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of religious persecution between 1990 and 2019.

 

In total, 273 victims of religious freedom violations were identified by investigators, 215 of whom were Christians.

 

Women and girls accounted for nearly 60 per cent of documented victims.  One victim was just three years old.

 

The report documented criminal charges for practising a religion, taking part in religious activities in China – where many North Koreans try to defect to – possessing religious items like a Bible, having contact with religious people, attending places of worship, and sharing religious beliefs.

 

The victims faced arbitrary arrest, detention, interrogation, imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse, public trials and execution.

KFI said that 76 of the victims are still believed to be in the North Korean penal system.

 

“In each documented case, the religious adherence or association of the victim was not deemed incidental to the documented violations. It was considered by investigators to be fundamental,” the report reads.

 

“Factual findings contained in this report will undoubtedly be of concern to the international community.

 

“The right to religious freedom is inalienable, universal, and fundamental. It is a human right to which all North Koreans are inherently entitled.

 

“Threats to this freedom pose a danger not just to North Korean citizens, but to the common principle that every human is born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The report details horrifying abuse.  In one instance, a Christian was held in a 4ft by 3ft cage heated with electricity for 12 hours until he passed out. Even when unconscious, he was then beaten.

 

Elsewhere, the report documented forced abortions in which babies born alive were then suffocated to death.  The women were then made to return to manual labour the day after the abortion without adequate rest or medicine.

 

In a foreward to the report, Il-lyong Ju, an exiled human rights advocate, called on the international community to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental freedom for all humanity. Living in North Korea meant that I could never experience this freedom,” said Ju.

 

“We, the people of North Korea, instead experience two systems of violations that disable our humanity.

 

“First, we experience physical human rights violations. These strip us of agency over our own bodies. Second, we experience mental human rights violations. These force us to relinquish our inner-thoughts and beliefs.

 

“Those of us who do not yield to our persecutors must face the consequences, including the suffering of three-generations of our families.

“For this reason alone, religious freedom is a benchmark for all other freedoms in North Korea. Without religious freedom, there can be no other rights that allow us, the people of North Korea, to reclaim our humanity.”

 

Responding to the report, Lord Ahmad said that two entities involved in administering the North Korean penal system were facing sanctions under the UK’s new Global Human Rights sanctions regime – established in response to the Bishop of Truro’s independent review into Christian persecution last year.

 

“Defending the right to freedom of religion or belief for all is a priority for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office,” said Lord Ahmad.

 

“The Korea Future Initiative’s (KFI) new report contains disturbing accounts of violations of freedoms in North Korea, and we regard it as a valuable contribution towards ensuring that human rights violations in North Korea are documented for accountability and deterrence purposes.

 

“My officials would welcome the opportunity to discuss KFI’s report with them in greater detail.”

Photo: Commuters make their way through a subway station visited by foreign reporters during a government organized tour in Pyongyang, North Korea October 9, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj.


Notice: Undefined index: et_footer_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1308

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1308

Notice: Undefined index: et_footer_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1309

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1309

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1310