North Korea: Children face human rights violations after being forcibly returned
Nine teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19 have been forcibly returned to North Korea where they face being subjected to torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and death.
The group of nine, namely Young Won, Moon Chul, JUNG Gwang Young, LEE Gwang Hyuk, PARK Gwang Hyuk, YOO Gwang Hyuk, RYU Chul Yong, JANG Hae Ri and ROH Ae Ji, include both male and female children. They were arrested in Laos on 10 May 2013, for illegally crossing the border from China. On 27th May 2013 they were allegedly taken from Laos’ capital Vientiane to Kunming in China, and subsequently flown to Pyongyang, North Korea the following day.
The South Korean government appealed to the Chinese authorities to allow the detainees to travel to South Korea, but to no avail. The authoritarian regime in North Korea prohibits citizens from traveling abroad without State permission and recent crackdowns have made it increasingly difficult to cross the border into China and escape via a third party country such as Laos or Thailand.
The irony is that Laos typically detains undocumented North Koreans found in Laos, but has previously allowed them to travel on to South Korea. So why a change of heart on this occasion? Why endanger the lives of children and their families, who are now apparently at risk of serious human rights violations in North Korea?
Call on the North Korean authorities to ensure that no one is detained or prosecuted for leaving North Korea, and that the nine North Koreans named are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, subjected to forced labour, enforced disappearance or to the death penalty;
Call on North Korean authorities to disclose the whereabouts of these nine persons;
Urge the North Korean authorities to abolish the requirement for permission to travel internally and abroad in compliance with international obligations
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 JULY 2013 TO KIM JONG-UN, SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE KOREAN PEOPLE’S ARMY, CARE OF: (Time difference = GMT + 9 hrs / BST + 8 hrs)
Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea to the Office of the United Nations in New York
Mr Sin Son-ho
Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in New York
820 Second Ave, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA
Fax: 001 212 972 3154
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva
Mr So Se-pyong
Chemin de Plonjon 1
Fax: 0041 22 786 0662
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
And copies to:
Minister of People’s Security
Ministry of People’s Security
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Twitter: .@uriminzok (North Korean official twitter account)
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO
His Excellency Mr Hyon Hak Bong, Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 73 Gunnesbury Avenue, London, W5 4LP.
Fax: 020 8992 2053 Tel: 020 8992 4965E Email: email@example.com
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