The brutality of North Korea’s government is exposed in a ground-breaking new report on the regime’s political prisons and prison camps. The Parallel Gulag: North Korea’s “An-jeon-bu” Prison Camps casts fresh light by publishing previously unseen satellite images which reveal a parallel network of prisons controlled by the North Korean Ministry of People’s Safety.
Released today by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and written by veteran human rights expert David Hawk, the report is the most comprehensive and authoritative examination of the regime’s penal system drawing on carefully sourced documentation provided by hundreds of former North Korean political prisoners and refugees now residing in South Korea. According to Hawk, “the practices documented in Parallel Gulag reveal yet another layer of North Korea’s brutal system in blatant contradiction to international laws, including treaties that North Korea has ratified.”
The Honorable Michael Kirby, former Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (COI), said that Parallel Gulag “shows that North Korea’s system of political oppression remains in place as an affront to the conscience of humanity” and “updates the record contained in the COI report.”
“There is an undeniable nexus between North Korea’s human rights violations and the security threats it poses,” said Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK’s Executive Director.
“Even as the world is transfixed by the slings and arrows surrounding vital nuclear weapons considerations, it is more important than ever to ensure that the fate of everyday North Koreans trapped in the unyielding gulag systems remains at the forefront of our efforts and the efforts of the international community,” he added.