04 May 2011

Stalinist Hell: North Korean Political Prisons Starving 200,000 in Dachau-like Conditions

Did you catch any of this over there, Jimmeh?

North Korean Prison Camp

Based on new satellite imagery and personal interviews of former inmates and guards, Amnesty International describes conditions in the Nork's political prison camps as "horrific".

And as the world's only heriditary communist dictatorship prepares for a transfer of power -and a potential period of instability- the Gulag-type camps appear to be growing in size...

Amnesty International believes the camps have been in operation since the 1950s, yet only three people are ever known to have escaped Total Control Zones and managed to leave North Korea. About 30 are known to have been released from the Revolutionary Zone at Political Prison Camp in Yodok and managed to leave North Korea. According to the testimony of a former detainee at the revolutionary zone in the political prison camp at Yodok, an estimated 40 per cent of inmates died from malnutrition .between 1999 and 2001.

Satellite images show four of the six camps occupying huge areas of land and located in vast wilderness sites in South Pyongan, South Hamkyung and North Hamkyung provinces, and producing products ranging from soy bean paste and sweets to coal and cement.

A comparison of the latest images with satellite imagery from 2001 indicates a significant increase in the scale of the camps.

In just one camp, Kwanliso 15 at Yodok, thousands of people are believed to be held as "guilty-by-association" or sent to the camps simply because one of their relatives has been detained.

The majority of prisoners, including some of those ‘guilty-by-association’, are held in areas known as ‘Total Control Zones’ from which they will never be released.

A significant proportion of those sent to the camps don’t even know what crimes they’re accused of...

Kim Jong Un
Whatever you do- don't be the first to stop clapping

Of course, brutal treatment and meager food rations based on performance meant a lot of people starve to death.  Add to that frequent executions performed in front of all the camp and you can imagine how the bodies pile up. One former prisoner described death as a daily occurrence at the camp, but one that actually made him "happy" because burying the body got him an extra bowl of corn meal.

Sadistic North Korean authorities are also known to use a cube ‘torture cell’, designed so the forced-fetus-position prisoner cannot either stand or lie down. Troublemakers are thrown in for at least a week, but in one case a child thrown into the cell for eight months.

In most of the camps -hidden in frigid mountain ranges-  the prisoners face harsh winters wearing for years what they were arrested in... as NO clothing/footwear is provided whatsoever.

And as we all know,  food in the worker's paradise of the DPRK is always scarce: while the Army and Pyongyang elite pretty much get what they need, average citizens -particularly outside the capital- need to settle for what's left... you can only imagine what the prison camp supply looks like.  

Amnesty International has been told of several accounts of people eating rats or picking corn kernels out of fresh manure purely to survive, despite the risks to life and limb: it's not just the sanitation issue, as anyone caught risks solitary confinement or other torture. 

The Heritage Foundation Amnesty International Wikipedia