Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

European Parliament Urges North Korea To Stop Execution Christian

Thursday, 15 June

By BosNewsLife News Center

BRUSSELS/LONDON (BosNewsLife)– Christian rights investigators on Thursday, June 15, welcomed a European Parliament (EP) resolution condemning “the human rights violations” in North Korea .

The EP resolution also expresses concern over the whereabouts of Son Jong Nam , a North Korean Christian man who has reportedly been tortured and threatened with execution by the country’s Communist government. It also urges North Korea to “provide information on the case of Mr Son Jong Nam and to stop his execution,” and condemns the apparent lack of cooperation on human rights issues between the country and the international community.

Earlier UN representatives said North Korea had failed to “respond in any meaningful way” to their concerns over the scheduled execution of Son, and noted he was reportedly tortured by the National Security Agency and sentenced “without the benefit of any of the procedural safeguards required by international human rights” law.

Son came to international attention in April as the first case where an international appeal was made to prevent a planned execution in North Korea . He has been charged with “betraying” his country and sharing information with South Koreans after a visit to China where he reportedly met with his brother and spoke about life in North Korea and his connection to Christianity.

DEATH PENALTY

In its resolution, the EP suggests the case underscores its demands to the North Korean Government to abolish the death penalty and “release all people detained or imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of fundamental human rights.”

It demands that North Korea will “ensure that humanitarian organizations, independent human rights monitors, the [United Nations] Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] (DPRK) and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief have free access to the country.”

The text also confronts the reported repression of religious freedom and the punishment of those involved in religious activities with imprisonment, torture and ill-treatment. It also addresses “the strict restrictions on freedom of information, association and assembly,” amongst other concerns including fair food distribution in the famine stricken nation.

WELCOMING RESOLUTION

In a reaction, UK-based advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide welcomed the resolution dated June 14 and monitored by BosNewsLife. “We greatly welcome this important step by the European Parliament, expressing grave concern over the widespread and gross violations of human rights in North Korea,” said CSW International Advocate, Elizabeth Batha.

“We greatly welcome this important step by the European Parliament, expressing grave concern over the widespread and gross violations of human rights in North Korea…We hope that the North Korean authorities will take this message to heart and start attacking the problem rather than those who articulate it.”

CSW also suggested it was pleased the resolution also urges China to stop repatriating North Korean citizens. “Regardless of their reasons for leaving, they face harsh treatment, ranging from detention to torture, long prison terms and even executions,” the EP said, adding that South Korea should also “assume its responsibility for North Korean refugees.” North Korean officials have denied human rights abuses.

THOUSANDS JAILED

There are at least 200,000 people imprisoned in North Korea’s notorious prison camps, investigators claim. Christian rights groups Open Doors has put North Korea on top of its World Watch List of 50 countries with severe persecution of Christians.

Observers, who recently visited North Korea, say especially Christian believers often suffer as North Korea’s Stalinist system is based on total devotion of the individual to an ideology promoted by the late leader Kim Il Sung and his successor and son, Kim Jong Il. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from Brussels, the UK and North Korea).