Friday, January 22, 2010

North Korea holding 200,000 political prisoners

The North Korean government is holding approximately 200,000 dissidents[press release, in Korean] in six prison camps spread throughout the country, according to a report released Wednesday by the South Korean government's National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) [official website, in Korean]. According to the report, punishments for dissidents have increased significantly [VOA report] for common offenses such as attempting to escape. The report also said that five of these six prisons are death camps and that prisoners sent to them are never [Chosun llbo report] released. This is the first time a state agency has conducted a review of human rights in North Korea.