International Protest Slated for April 28, 2007

To Save North Korean Refugees

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) urges each person reading this to take part in the International Protest against China’s Violent Treatment of North Korean Refugees. This Protest, led by NORTH KOREA FREEDOM COALITION, is scheduled to be held all around the World on April 28. North Korean refugees who escape into China seeking food and freedom immediately encounter a new problem – the constant fear of arrest and repatriation by Chinese authorities.

This forces the refugees to seek ways to escape from China into a third country such as South Korea or Japan, where they will be safe. However, more and more of these North Koreans are running into yet another barrier on their difficult journey to freedom. Increasingly, they are being arrested and detained in jails or immigration detention centers in the countries they must pass through before reaching their intended destinations. And there they are forcibly held for extended periods of time.

One recent and much-too-typical example is the 3 North Korean orphans, who were detained in a Laotian jail for 4 months.
………. 3 Orphans Plead for Help
………. 3 Orphans Freed

Another example, this one in Thailand, is the 400 North Korean refugees including babies, children and old women, who have all been crammed for the past few months into a small jail, a space built to hold only 100 at the maximum.
………. Thai hunger strike

How long will these people have to suffer? They are good people, honest people, who are tired of starving and being sent to labor camps in their home country. They are merely doing what normal people do – trying to reach someplace safe, where there is enough food to survive and where they can be free. They have already been internationally accepted as refugees.

China must also begin treating them as refugees and start allowing UNHCR access to them.

You can join the International Protest by writing to the Chinese Ambassador or Consul in your country. When you write, please remind them that China is a signatory to the Convention on Refugees, and urge them to treat North Korean defectors as refugees.

You may also want to get up to speed on this issue by reading a couple of reports from LFNKR’s recent newsletter.
………. REPORT: Distributing 2 Ton of Rice
………. REPORT: Mr. Park, Refugee, Now Living in Japan

Regards from Japan,

Kato Hiroshi
Executive Director, LFNKR