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Joint Statement on
NK Woman Who Killed Self
in Chinese Prison

Protesting Police Brutality and Forced Repatriation

On Friday, December 14, 2007, participants of the International Conference on North Korean Human Rights Awareness in Tokyo, were shocked by news that a North Korean refugee woman had committed suicide two days earlier, while being held in a Chinese prison. The tragic suicide following the woman's arrest is yet another indicator of the stepped-up brutality and terror of official dragnet operations aimed at North Korean refugees now being carried out by Chinese police in the areas of Quin Hwang Dao, Hobei Province.

Kim Yong Ja, age 46 (born May 7, 1957), had been an ordinary housewife before fleeing Kuwol Dong, Pyongsong City, Pyongan Province in North Korea. But she had entered China, and now was swept up with about 40 other North Korean refugees over five days in and around Qin Huang Dau, Hubei Province. It was yet another new government crackdown on North Korean refugees hiding in China.

In an act protesting Chinese police brutality toward North Korean Refugees, and reflecting her own great despair and fear as she faced impending repatriation to North Korea, she slashed her wrists and throat with a shard of broken glass from a prison window.

In this context, the members of this International conference wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Kim Young Ja, and to condemn the Chinese government in the strongest possible terms for the barbaric policy of hunting down North Korean refugees and repatriating them to certain imprisonment, torture and, in some cases, summary execution. Such actions are in utter defiance of humanitarian practices and civilized international law. The conference participants lodged a strong letter of protest with the Chinese Ambassador in Tokyo on Friday, December 14, December.

Your full attention to this tragedy will be greatly appreciated in the name of humanity, justice and peace for mankind.

On behalf of the International Conference
North Korean Human Rights Awareness Week
Dec. 15, 2007

Kato Hiroshi
Executive Director
Life Funds for North Korean
A-101 2-2-8 Nishikata
Tokyo, Japan

  Kotarou Miura
The Society to Help Returnees
           to North Korea
Tokyo, Japan
Peter Tima
Catacombs, Korea & USA
Seoul, Korea
  Chul-Kyu Park
Human Rights Activist
Seoul, Korea