In the News – Survivor of N. Korean prison camp appeals for action on those left behind
PARIS, May 1 (Yonhap) — A North Korean defector who is the only known person to have escaped from a notorious political prison camp in the North has appealed for global action to prevent the ongoing tragedy of political prisoners in the isolated nation.
Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in a North Korean concentration camp and escaped to freedom in 2005, gave a personal account of life there, saying inmates were subjected to torture, hard labor and arbitrary execution.
“Even now, it is not too late. We should prevent a massacre (in the North Korean prison camps),” the 31-year-old Shin told the audience at a lecture in Paris, warning that Holocaust-style slaughter could occur there any time if the outside world continues to turn a deaf ear to the testimony of defectors.
Shin stepped into the global media spotlight after the publication in March of “Escape from Camp 14,” a book on his experiences by American journalist Blaine Harden.
“After reading this book, do not remember me,” Shin said. “Instead, please remember those who are suffering at the (North Korean) political prison camps and then think about what you can do.”
Shin was in Paris Monday (local time) after the publication of a French version of the book.
He was born in the camp and remained there for 24 years before escaping over electrified fences and making his way to China. He settled in South Korea in 2006.
During a similar lecture in Washington last month, Shin confessed that his mother and brother were executed in Camp No. 14 because he tipped the authorities that they were planning an escape.
North Korea is believed to have up to 200,000 people in hidden, Soviet-style gulags where torture and executions are routine and starvation is widespread.
Original article can be found here.