The UN investigators, for the first time, have spoken up against the Nazi-era like atrocities unleashed in North Korea. Coinciding with the report, a video documentary by Human Rights Watch, has shown former prisoners and North Korean prison officials making startling revelations on how the North Korean prisons are exactly like the Nazi concentration camps.
Under its supreme leader Kim Jong-un, hundreds of citizens have been taken prisoners, and the first prison rule of North Korean regime is that the prisoners are never told what their crimes are.
The UN report reveals that on several occasions, mothers were forced to kill their own. "In most cases, guards at the detention facilities in which repatriated persons are held force either the mother or a third person to kill the baby by drowning it in water," a report by BBC notes.
The Human Rights Watch video has several former prisoners and prison officials speaking about the inhuman conditions in the prisons of North Korea. Lee Young-Kuk, a former prisoner who spent 28 years in Camp 15, reveals the horror story of the prisoners trying to escape the camp.
A prisoner once escaped the prison and made it to the mountains close by but the soldiers surrounded the perimeters of the mountain and captured him. To make an example of him "he was dragged down to the prison camp, tied behind a truck and later was left tied on the truck, covered in blood. Next day he was executed," says Young-Kuk.
Another inmate of Camp 15, Kim Hye-Sook tells a story of how prisoners were treated - as animals to be tamed. "The cruelty in the prison camps crossed humanity. The prison officials were taught to be cruel. Everyday, all prisoners were called out and made to kneel down. Then they were asked to open their mouth. And then a prison official will spit in their mouths. Anyone who gagged was beaten up brutally," says Hye-Sook.
Ahn Myung-chul, a former prison guard from Camp 22, explains how prison officials used food and violence to break political prisoners. Several prisoners lost their lives and some even stooped to looking for food in 'cow dung'. "The tactic was to control the prisoners. The political prisoners were tamed with food and violence. It was believed that if prisoners were well fed they worked less," he says.
Condemning North Korea for systematic rights violations amounting to crimes against humanity, a United Nations report was released in Geneva on 17 February. To coincide with the official release of the UN Commission of inquiry report, Human Rights Watch also released a video featuring witnesses testimony from the country's internment camps.
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