Nine Teenagers Forcibly Returned to North Korea

This is a change of style – setting letter writing as blog posts rather than just adding to one long Letters page. This should prove easier to keep relevant and link to via facebook and the newsletter. Let us know what you

North Korea may have faded from the news these past months, but sadly threats to its citizens goes on. North Koreans are prohibited from travelling abroad without state permission and recent crackdowns have made it increasingly difficult to cross the border into China and escape via another country such as Laos or Thailand. China returns all ‘undocumented’ North Koreans if caught. Laos typically detains undocumented North Koreans found in Laos, but used to allow them to travel on to South Korea.

Unfortunately authorities in Laos have recently returned nine teenagers who had crossed illegally into their country via China. By placing these young teenagers back in the grasps of the North Korean authorities, they are now likely to be sent to one of the infamous gulag style prison camps and detained under atrocious conditions. Amnesty is seriously concerned for their safety.

The teenagers, aged between 14 and 19, are now at serious risk of being tortured, detained in prison, sent to forced labour camps or even executed. Under International Law, no one should be sent back to a country where they are at risk of human rights violations, such as torture or execution. Those who escape North Korea should be entitled to international protection because of such risks. The South Korean government even appealed to the Chinese and Laos authorities to send them to South Korea instead.

There is an Urgent Action that we worked on as a group this month (June 2013). UA North Korea

There is a draft letter you can either copy or utilise youself to send of a letter asap.north korea letter

Please write before 12 July to Kim Jong-Un, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, care of:

Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the Office of the United Nations in New York
Mr Sin Son-ho
Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in New York
820 Second Ave, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA
Fax: +1 212 972 3154
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

There is another address you can write to within the Urgent Action form