US Report Hits North Korea on Religious Rights
USCIRF has released a report entitled, “A Prison Without Bars,” in which researchers interviewed 32 North Korean refugees and documented their often gruesome stories. The report indicates that refugees believed to have had contact with Christian churches are specifically targeted and abused by security agents.
4/15/08 North Korea (VoiceofAmerica) “It’s a hard report to read. These atrocities are so atrocious, if you will, so ghastly, that having further documentation of it only adds to the urgency of the issue,” he said.
Cromartie says the report describes increased police efforts to stop religious activity along the border with China. Agents reportedly set up mock prayer meetings to entrap new converts in North Korea, and train security agents in Christian traditions and practices for the purpose of infiltrating churches in China.
“Security agents target refugees believed to have visited Chinese churches for food aid or other forms of immediate assistance. Refugees who admit under intense interrogation to having had contact with Christians while in China often receive particularly harsh punishments,” he said.
Former guards identified pictures of the notorious Camp 22, where U.S. Senator Sam Brownback says chemical experiments are alleged to have taken place, and from which no prisoners are known to have left alive.
“The former guards we contacted were able to identify its electrified fences and moats. They were able to point out the huts where its prisoners live, the coal mines where men are worked to death, and the forests and fields where the dead are discarded,” he said.