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North Korea. Authorities in Pyongyang punish with death for foreign films and religious activities. Report

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The North Korean authorities punish citizens with the death penalty for drug offenses, distribution of South Korean films and religious practices. They also engage in torture, sexual violence and unethical experimentation on people with disabilities, according to a report prepared by South Korea, which is due to be released on Friday, March 31. On Thursday, fragments of it were made available to the media.

The extensive, 445-page analysis is said to detail the egregious violations human rights in North Korea. According to the South Korean “The Korea Herald”, it was prepared on the basis of about 1,600 cases of human rights violations in the country ruled by Kim Jong Un. It also includes the testimonies of 508 people who fled the country in 2017-2022.

“The right to life of North Korean citizens has been seriously threatened. Cases have been collected that prove the arbitrary deprivation of life by state authorities” – the study states.

The published fragments of the report show that activities such as “drug crimes, dissemination of South Korean videos and religious activities or (belief in – ed.) superstition” are punishable by death by the Pyongyang regime. As it was added, executions are often carried out in public. Their victims are also people under 18 and pregnant women. Punishments are carried out by a firing squad, and most convicts are deprived of the possibility of appealing the sentence, notes The Korea Herald.

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North Korean authorities punish citizens with death

The analysis cited the example of a man who was publicly executed by a firing squad in Ryanggang Province for distributing South Korean video material. It also describes the story of Koreans who secretly sold South Korean products, such as high heels and cosmetics, at the market. They were arrested and sentenced to be shot in 2018.

A year earlier, the regime allegedly executed a pregnant woman captured on video of her dancing and pointing at a portrait of Kim Il-sung, leader of North Korea from 1946 to 1994. The report also details the story of six teenagers, aged 16 to 17, who were shot to death on charges of watching South Korean videos and smoking opium at a stadium in the city of Wonsan.

SEE ALSO: Torture, starvation, forced abortions. North Korean Prison Report Released

The 445-page document shows that the North Korean authorities also engage in torture, sexual violence and other types of persecution of citizens. The authors of the report indicate that they also carry out unethical experiments on people with physical or intellectual disabilities and the mentally ill.

According to The Korea Herald, officials from the Ministry of Social Security allegedly blackmailed the families of these people into agreeing to the tests. For this purpose, they were to threaten to send them to prisoner-of-war camps. The report also describes cases of forced sterilization carried out among people with disabilities and people of short stature. An example was given of a woman who was forced to surgically remove her uterus in 2017.

South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, quoted by The Koran Herald, underlined that the report is proof of Seoul’s determination to make further efforts to “significantly improve the human rights situation in North Korea.” “I hope it will play a role in bringing about a significant change in the attitude of the North Korean authorities and their responsibility for these actions,” Young-se added.

SEE ALSO: Kim Jong Un and his daughter watched a missile test. “Always strike fear among enemies”

Main photo source: PAP/Newscom

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