North Korea executed a six month pregnant woman and conducted human experiments on people with dwarfism, claims a report from South Korea.
Disabled people have also been forcibly sterilized by the state, and citizens have been sentenced to death for being homosexual and for their religionthe report states.
More than 500 North Koreans who managed to flee the country spoke out about horrific human rights abuses between 2017 and 2022 in a sprawling 450-page report released this week by the South Korean Ministry of Unification. The right to life of “citizens of North Korea appear to be seriously threatened”concludes the ministry in the report.
“Executions are widely carried out for acts that do not warrant the death penalty, including drug offences, South Korean video sharing, and religious and superstitious activities.”
They also heard testimonials from nurses forced to draw up a list of people with dwarfism in order to perform hysterectomies.
The report describes how a six-month pregnant woman was executed after a video of her dancing while pointing to a portrait of Kim Jong Un.
And a group of teenagers were allegedly executed by firing squad after watching a South Korean video and smoking opium.
The report also details that North Korea’s Ministry of Social Security blackmailed families into allowing their relatives to participate in human experiments, threatening to send them to prison camps.
Detention centers witnessed frequent deaths and torture. Female prisoners were also treated particularly harshly, as they were subjected to sexual violence and forced labor.
Five of the 11 camps identified by South Korea are still in operation.
The text comes as South Korea seeks to highlight its isolated neighbor’s failure to improve living conditions as it rushes to build up its nuclear and missile arsenals.
The South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeolsaid the report should better inform the international community about the North’s “appalling” abuses, saying North Korea did not deserve “not a single penny” of economic aid while pursuing its nuclear ambitions.
The Ministry of Unification is required by law to carry out an annual assessment of the human rights situation in the North.