The 381-page report released last week by the South Korean government-financed National Human Rights Commission of Korea includes interviews with about 200 prison camp survivors, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The report includes names and other information about the North Koreans allegedly responsible for the abuses.
The North denies the camps' existence, the newspaper notes.
"The reason we published this [report] is to spread awareness and to have a realistic account of recorded testimony," said Lee Yong-ken, the commission's human rights chief.
Suzanne Scholte of the North Korea Freedom Coalition said the possibility that the information could be used as evidence in trials at some point puts North Korean authorities on notice "that they will be held accountable for their crimes," the Post said.
Independent human rights reports estimate 150,000 to 200,000 people are detained in the camps, though details of life in them is hard to come by because of the North's secretiveness. The Post said about 23,500 defectors have made it to the South, including at least several hundred former prisoners.
The published interviews include descriptions of prisoners starved, beaten with lumber, and execution and torture methods called the "Flying Jet," the "Motorcycle" and "Pumping," the newspaper said.
One former detainee, Jeong Gwang-il, who says he spent three years at one camp after illegally crossing into China, said prisoners were sometimes made to take part in Olympic-style games that included 2.5-mile downhill races to retrieve corn cakes at the bottom.
"Many prisoners fell off the cliff while hustling and jostling on the way," the report said, "and the integrity department agents considered this as a spectacle or entertainment."
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