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Weekend Reads North Korea: the NGO Human Rights Watch denounces "a horrifying system of pre-trial detention"

11:50  19 october  2020
11:50  19 october  2020 Source:   francetvinfo.fr

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Human rights in North Korea are extremely limited. Despite numerous rights being de jure guaranteed by the country's constitution

North Korea 's woeful human rights record is one topic that is yet to come up - and it's likely to remain that way. The UN says North Koreans live under Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch ( HRW ), told the BBC that North Korea has only been able to develop an expensive nuclear

Former detainees told the NGO that they were forced to remain kneeling or sitting on their legs without moving, sometimes for sixteen hours straight. Any gesture entailed punishment.

  Corée du Nord : l'ONG Human Rights Watch dénonce © Provided by Franceinfo

A regime treating prisoners "worse than animals". Torture, humiliation and coerced confessions are rife in the justice system in North Korea , Human Rights Watch (HRW) says in an report, titled "North Korea: A Horrifying System of Pre-trial Detention", released on Monday October 19.

The United States-based human rights organization claims to have interviewed dozens of former detainees as well as North Korean officials. Those interviewed claimed that the pre-trial detention is "particularly harsh" and that detainees are mistreated, often beaten.

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Former North Korean students told Human Rights Watch their schools forced them to work for free on farms twice a year, for one month at a time. North Koreans caught working or living in China are sent to long term ordinary prisons (kyohwaso) or short-term detention facilities (rodong danryeonda).

Former North Korean security officials told Human Rights Watch that those forcibly returned face interrogation, torture, sexual violence, humiliating treatment, and forced labor. The severity of punishment depends on North Korean authorities’ assessments of what returnees did while in China.

The regulations say that detainees should not be beaten but we need a confession during the investigation. So you have to hit them to get the confession.

a former police officer

at Human Rights Watch

Former detainees have reported being forced to kneel or sit on their legs without moving for sometimes sixteen hours at a time. Any gesture entailed punishment. They were then beaten with sticks, leather belts or even punches, and had to run around the prison yard a thousand times in circles.

"There, you are treated worse than an animal, which is what you end up being," former detainee Yoon Young Cheol told Human Rights Watch.

Torture and sexual violence

Women interviewed also declared having suffered sexual violence .

Kim Sun Young, a former trader in her 50s who fled North Korea in 2015, said she was raped by her investigator at a detention center. Another police officer touched during her interrogation, she added, saying she did not have the strength to oppose.

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The North Korean Human Rights Act (NKHRA) was passed on March 3, 2016 by the Seoul National Assembly in the Republic of Korea . The act sets clear guidelines for the protection and advancement of human rights for current and former North Korean citizens in accordance with the Universal

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), formerly known as the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea , is a Washington

In its report, Human Rights Watch calls on Pyongyang to "end endemic and cruel torture, as well as degrading and inhuman treatment in detention centers". The NGO urges South Korea, the United States and other UN member countries to "put pressure on the North Korean government".

In general, North Korea claims to respect human rights and asserts that criticism from the international community represents a smear campaign aimed at "undermining the sacred socialist system".

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