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Date : August 26, 2013
COI Public Hearing Got Defectors’ Testimonies
At the third UN COI Public Hearing on the 22nd, defectors gave testimonies about the North Korean authorities’ violation of children and disabled people’s rights, violation of the right to freedom of information and religion, and persecution of Christianity.
A defector, Kim Hyuk, who was from a North Korean orphanage, testified that many orphans in orphanages ran away or died from malnutrition during the March of Tribulation. A defector Ji Seong Ho, whose rights as a disabled person were abused, testified that he carried coal while hanging from a freight train but he collapsed because of starvation in North Korea. After which, he was hit by a train and his left arm was amputated. Mr. Ji said that since it is hard even for the non-disabled to live in North Korea, disabled people have even more difficult lives. Many disabled people died from starvation during the March of Tribulation.
In this public hearing, the testimonies of two defectors, one a former reporter and the other a former announcer in North Korea, especially attracted attention. A defector Jeong Jin Hwa, who was an announcer at Hamheung Province in North Korea, and a defector, Jang Hae Sung, who was a reporter at Chosun Central Broadcast, testified that when reporters and announcers report news in North Korea, they have to write and report only what Kim Jong Il ordered to report. There are three levels of censorship, so no unwanted information ever really gets reported. That means, they said, the North Korean authorities completely control freedom of information.
A defector, Timothy, who was persecuted for being Christian in North Korea, said, “The only religion you are allowed to freely practice in North Korea is to deify Kim Il Sung.” Also, an anonymous defector testified that his sister received a 13 years sentence in reeducation camp because she believed in Christianity, but she died in the camp because of malnutrition. These testimonies show how extremely the North Korean authorities commit religious persecution.


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