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Report: Raped women in North Korea prison camps executed

By Elizabeth Shim
Report: Raped women in North Korea prison camps executed
North Korean women in political prison camps are frequent victims of sexual assault and secret executions, according to recent defector testimony. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Women who are raped in North Korean prison camps are executed and prisoners are frequently stoned to death before their families, according to recent testimonies from defectors in South Korea.

The defectors, who provided their statements to South Korea's Unification Media Group, described in graphic detail the torment prisoners face every day while serving sentences for political crimes, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported Tuesday.

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Park Ju-yong, 29, a defector who grew up in a North Korean prison camp for more than two decades, said raped women who become pregnant are taken away and secretly killed by guards.

The women are usually victims of prison guards who frequently abuse their power and sexually assault the women who, in return for sexual favors, are given a lighter workload in the prison camps, Park said.

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After giving birth, women are not only executed, their newborn babies are fed to guard dogs.

The guards are ultimately dismissed from the camps as punishment.

Park, who said he was born in "Concentration Camp 21," was transferred to Pukchang concentration camp a year after his birth.

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Park was sentenced at a young age because an uncle was charged with a political crime.

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The defector said he witnessed public executions where family members were required to stone a relative to death, according to the Donga.

Executions also involved "thousands of stones," or prison-wide involvement with prisoners returning to a line and engaging in repeated stoning.

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Prisoners would be threatened with execution if they did not comply.

"People would throw their rocks hard. Each time the rock would hit the victim, their bodies would burst with blood," the defector said in his statement.

"Their flesh would fall off until you could see their bones, and they would die without execution by gun," he added.

Park also said North Korean society became "chaotic" after the death of founder Kim Il Sung.

During former leader Kim Jong Il's period of rule, executions escalated in the camp.

A second defector, Ahn Myeong-cheol, a former North Korean prison guard, confirmed camps have public and secret executions, and women are given "easier jobs" for sexual favors in prisons.

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