Solidarity Worldwide has scheduled a press conference
in UK to be held at 10:00AM on Wednesday Feb. 11.
addition, to foster greater support among EU influence
centers to encourage the immediate release of the Korean and Japanese
aid workers still detained in China, Mr. Hiroshi Kato,
General Secretary of Life Funds For North Korean Refugees, and
Mr. Kim Sang Hun, a Korean humanitarian aid worker,
are visiting influential political and NGO leaders in EU.
is the news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
KOREAN KIDNAP ATTEMPT: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH MR KIM, LEADING CAMPAIGNER
ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA AND CHINA
Wednesday 11 February
Room W1, Parliament
Chaired by David Drew MP
kidnap attempt on the North Korean defector who handed
Mr Kim documentary evidence of chemical weapons testing on North
Korean prisoners confirms North Korea's desperation to cover up
the extent of its human rights abuses.
of this kidnap attempt will be given at the press conference.
Sang Hun received these documents before this kidnap
attempt and as one of the foremost human rights experts and activists
on North Korea in the world, he appeared on the recent BBC2 programme
Access to Evil: This World (broadcast on February 1).
to the authenticity of this document showing that North
Korea is transferring political prisoners from camps for chemical
experimentation. He has helped over a hundred North Koreans escape
by reaching embassies in Beijing and through other Asian countries
and has also personally interviewed hundreds of North Koreans.
He is highly active in campaigning for refugee status for North
Koreans and for the release of aid workers in China. In 2003 he
was honoured in Time Magazine Asia as an Asian Hero.
Kato is Secretary General of the Japanese organisation
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, one of the most active groups
helping North Koreans in China. Mr Kato was himself detained and
mistreated by the Chinese who threatened to send him to North
Korea and deny all knowledge of him if he did not co-operate.
Mr Noguchi was arrested in December 2003 in China with
two North Koreans. The Chinese authorities have said he may face
a sentence of up to ten years. As North Koreans in previous cases
involving Japanese aid workers have been repatriated, Mr Noguchi
is refusing release unless the North Koreans are allowed to travel
to a safe third country.
and Mr Kato will speak and answer questions on the situation
facing North Koreans and aid workers in China and the situation
in North Korea itself. In the run up to the new six way talks
on North Korea, they will be emphasising the need for the international
community to address the dangers the regime poses to the North
Korean people as well as to the outside world. They will also
be available for interview during the rest of their visit to London
from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th February.
let us know if you plan to attend the press conference
or would like to arrange separate interviews by contacting Richard
Chilvers, communications manager, CSW
8329 0045 or
A picture of Mr
Noguchi is available.
conditions in North Korea have prompted numerous North
Koreans to make the difficult journey across the border to China.
once in China they face different horrors. Lacking legal
status, they are highly vulnerable to criminal elements and exploitative
employers. Women are often sold into prostitution or as brides,
at times unwittingly. Once 'married' the man considers her his
property and may keep her under lock and key, abusing her physically
and sexually, even renting her out or selling her on to other
these women have
few alternatives. They have nothing to escape to. If they go to
the police, or are turned in by their husband, they will be sent
back to North Korea. The Chinese policy of repatriating North
Koreans results in returnees facing torture and cruel imprisonment.
Those who have been in contact with missionaries or South Koreans
are subject to especially harsh treatment. Christians are likely
to be executed or sent for life to hard labour camps.
of eyewitness accounts report that women who are found
to be pregnant by Chinese men are subject to forced abortion where
this is possible or, where the pregnancy is more advanced, are
kept in detention until they give birth, when their baby is them
smothered to death in front of them.
the harshness of the Chinese line towards the refugees,
there are aid workers and missionaries who risk their own safety
to shelter North Koreans. Moved by compassion they provide shelter
and food to protect those arriving in China from such dangers.
China is determined to eliminate the refugee situation
and has staged a severe crackdown.
the strategy is to destroy the network that provides
humanitarian care to the North Koreans. Thus, China has placed
bounties on the heads of aid workers in the area and arrested
and sentenced many who have sheltered and escorted escapees.
is in breach of its obligations under the 1951 UN Convention
Relating to the Status of Refugees. This goes beyond flagrant
violation to even punishing those who provide the protection that
it is obligated to guarantee.
2003 the Chinese authorities arrested Mr Takayuki Noguchi
of the Japanese humanitarian organisation Life Funds for North
Korean Refugees. Mr Noguchi, 32, who is responsible for international
relations for the organisation, is being held in Nanning Prison
in Guangxi in China.
Koreans were arrested with Mr Noguchi. One is a woman
in her 40s who was born in Tokai Region, Japan and taken to North
Korea by her mother. The other is a man in his 50s who was born
in West Japan and moved to North Korea in the early 1960s. Mr
Noguchi has been anxiously pleading for intervention to secure
the protection of the two refugees from repatriation.
for the Chinese Government publicly stated that the investigation
is ongoing and that Mr Noguchi could be subject to a sentence
of up to ten years imprisonment.
concerns about abuses by the Chinese, human rights groups
including CSW are deeply concerned about the widespread and systematic
human rights violations occurring in North Korea. There are believed
to be more than 100,000 people in prison camps inside North Korea.
the many violations of basic rights are the systematic
use of torture and the use of arbitrary and brutal imprisonment,
characterised by violence, extreme deprivation, starvation food
rations, intense forced labour, frequent accidents and disfigurement
and high death tolls.
grave sources of injustice are the lack of due process,
the regular use of arbitrary and public execution and the punishment
of whole families for the crime of one family member.
of the repercussions against individuals and their families
mean that North Korea has largely succeeded in silencing reports
of the atrocities committed within its borders.
this, the extreme isolation and secrecy of the state
has prevented the flow of information out of the country, while
restricting freedom for external monitors to enter and assess
on Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, including the
full text of their press statement is available at www.northkoreanrefugees.com
the Time Magazine article on Kim Sang Hun visit http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/heroes/kim_sang_hun.html
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