Protest against China’s repatriation of North Korean refugees
International charity Open Doors is urging Christians to protest against the Chinese government’s policy of forcibly repatriating refugees who flee North Korea by taking part in a demonstration at the Chinese embassy later this month.
04/04/08 China (Inspire Magazine)– International charity Open Doors is urging Christians to protest against the Chinese government’s policy of forcibly repatriating refugees who flee North Korea by taking part in a demonstration at the Chinese embassy later this month.
Eddie Lyle, Chief Executive, Open Doors UK and Ireland, said: “One refugee from North Korea who paid the ultimate price for escaping was Jong Cheol, an 11-year-old boy who came to faith in Christ whilst on the run in China.
“He and his friends were discovered, arrested by the Chinese police and mercilessly sent back to North Korea. Following brutal treatment by Korean officers, one of his friends betrayed the fact that Jong Cheol was a Christian. Jong was duly executed as a result.”
Jong’s story is just one example of the lengths the North Korean government will go to in dealing with those of its citizens who have come into contact with Chinese Christians. According to Open Doors, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, Jong’s story is by no means exceptional. Many are tortured and sent to death camps, from where few emerge alive.
China’s repatriation of refugees by force contravenes its obligations under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to which it is a signatory. Eddie Lyle added: “China will simply not give refuge to any North Koreans who flee their homeland because of the desperation engendered by famine, dire poverty or persecution. Nor will they allow them safe passage to another country.
“Instead, the Chinese government invests heavily in resources and manpower to ensure that these refugees are caught. Horrendous abuses happen to them while in custody in China but far worse awaits them on their return to North Korea.