Outrageous abuse is being inflicted on North Korean people, here’s why it matters

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Disturbing reports have surfaced from defectors in South Korea and North Korea about women being brutally raped and executed in political prisons camps in North Korea. Under the rule of Kim Jong-Un, North Korea is considered to be “one of the most repressive countries,” according to Human Rights Watch.

In addition, basic freedoms that we take for granted in America, such as the freedom of speech has been completely restricted for all citizens since 2014 under the Kim family’s political dynasty. Furthermore, the reasons why these women are in these camps are for political offenses which include: watching non- state television broadcasts, using foreign media devices (Chinese mobile phones), and having SD cards and USBs that contain unauthorized videos of outside news, films or even TV dramas. Thus, if you are found guilty or even seen as a suspect of housing any of the above stated restricted items, you are sent to a political prison camp where guards are told to starve, mentally and physically abuse, sexually assault and implement forced labor unto all individuals.

The Human Rights Watch states: “UN officials estimated that between 80,000 and 120,000 people are imprisoned in political prison camps.”

Multiple defectors have provided their observations and personal experiences of the violence to South Korea’s Unification Media Group. One defector, Park Ju-yong, announced that he grew up in a North Korean prison camp for just over the duration of two decades. Throughout his time in the camp, he grew to understand the dynamic between the prison guards and the women in the camps. Park asserted that the guards would rape the women in the camps daily and if the women were to become pregnant, they would be taken away and killed by the guards in private. In conjunction, Park stated an unimaginable act to us Americans: “After giving birth, women are not only executed, their newborn babies are fed to guard dogs.”

It’s also common for people to be stoned to death, where the prisoners would be forced to kill one of their own by throwing thousands of stones at the victim. “People would throw their rocks hard. Each time the rock would hit the victim, their bodies would burst with blood. Their flesh would fall off until you could see their bones, and they would die without execution by gun,” Park stated.

However, the violence has become so extreme that a former North Korean guard, who is also a defector, reported that the number of deaths from beating prisoners was so high at one point the guards were encouraged to be less violent with the women and men. The former guard also stated that women who engaged in sexual acts would get “easier jobs” when it came time for the guards to assign the various forced labor jobs conducted in the camps.

After researching various articles, there is no inclination that these camps will cease relatively soon for the 80,000 to 120,000. South Korea is hesitant to fully commit to helping these individuals out of fear for their own lives and country. Moreover, the emptiness of viable aide for these prisoners begs the question: who will step in and advocate for North Korea’s people and their rights? 

JoAllie Paluchak can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com. 


Tags: voices, opinon

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