On March 6th, Dr. Oh Kil Nam and Kim Tae Jin, the President of Free NK Gulag, had a hearing at the Italian House of Representatives and a press conference in order to inform the Italian parliament of the seriousness of North Korean human rights problems, including the issues of defectors who are on the verge of repatriation to the North.
At the hearing, the host Matteo Mecacci from the Italian Radicals said, “A group of people from Libya and Tunis who the Italian Parliament supported has become a leading group for their revolution.” He added, “Through this event with North Korean activists, we want to show a ray of hope to North Korean people, and say to European countries that democracy and human rights should become a pivotal element when they set up policies on North Korea.”
Mecacci emphasized Italy as the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with North Korea, and claimed, “Therefore, Italy must have responsibility for political prison camps where over 200,000 political prisoners presumably are detained. In addition, Italian government should take an official stance on protection of refugees from North Korea.”
He added that the North Korean human rights situation is so terrible that it cannot be so acceptable to westerners. However, it is an obvious reality, which has been happening to North Korean people, even right now. He also said that “While over 25,000 North Koreans succeeded in defection and settlement in the South’s society, much more people were forced to be repatriated to the North and have since disappeared without any trace.”
Regarding the repatriation, Kim Tae Jin explained his experience; “After being repatriated to the North, I went through eight months of terrible, horrible interrogations and then was sent to No. 15 political prison camp in Yoduk.”
Dr. Oh Kil Nam, Ki Tae Jin, and Song Yun Bok from NO FENCE in Japan took part in a radio program show of Radio Radicale and talked about the case of Dr. Oh’s family and North Korean human rights issues.
It has been the second hearing which the Italian parliament has held. The first one was in 2010, also hosted by Matteo Mecacci.