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DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: North Korea: Summary executions yet another injustice for beleaguered population

6 Mar 2008
Region: DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Topic: Individual at risk
Amnesty International today condemned the North Korean authorities forexecuting 15 people in public for illegally crossing the border withChina. A North Korean official reportedly said that 13 women and twomen were shot dead in the town of Onseong in late February "to send awarning to people," according to South Korean NGO, Good Friends.
Due to chronic food shortages, many North Koreans have little choicebut to risk the dangerous journey to China in order to access food andother essential supplies.

"Tens of thousands of North Koreans have been forced to flee theircountry to avoid starvation," said Tim Parritt, AmnestyInternational's Deputy Programme Director for Asia. "These summaryexecutions compound other human rights violations - includingarbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and severe restrictions onfreedom of speech - faced by some of the most desperate people in theworld."

Amnesty International calls on the North Korean government to end itspolicy of summary executions, and appeals to North Korea's neighboursin China and Japan to set a regional example by following themoratorium on the death penalty, adopted by the UN General Assembly on18 December 2007.

6 March 2008

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