Report maps 'hundreds' of North Korea's public executions

A new report based on interviews with hundreds of North Korean escapees reveals the extent of state-sanctioned killings carried out by the despotic regime, the authors claim.
The Transitional Justice Working Group - a South Korea-based NGO human rights organisation - has released its latest report, 'Mapping the Fate of the Dead: Killings and Burials in North Korea'.
The four-year project aimed to map state-sanctioned killing sites between 2014-19, the sites where the dead are disposed of, and official locations which might contain evidence of the executions.

Based on interviews with 610 escapees from Kim Jong-Un's dictatorship, the authors claim they mapped 323 reports of state-sanctioned killings across 318 sites.
Mass public executions of more 10 people were reported 19 times.
Most victims were executed by firing squad, but hangings were also reported.

Interviewees said public executions took place everywhere from riverbeds to marketplaces and school grounds, with up to more than 1000 people as observers.
A total of 83 per cent of the interviewees said they had witnessed a public execution, with 53 per cent saying they were forced to watch. The youngest reported age of an execution witness was seven years old.
'Most North Korean citizens continue to follow traditional burial practices where scarce resources allow,' lead author Dr Sarah Son said.

'However, interviewees told us the bodies of individuals killed by the regime are not usually returned to family members, nor are the burial locations revealed to families.'
The report claimed sham trials were 'almost always' carried out on the spot ahead of a public execution, with victims often appearing 'half-dead' upon arrival.

Interviewees also claimed mobile phones were confiscated from the crowd, which the report authors claimed showed the Kim Jong-Un regime was concerned about recordings of the events emerging.
Transitional Justice Working Group technology director Dan Bielefeld said the group intended to use the gathered data to pursue accountability for North Korea's human rights abuses, and to support redress for victims.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019

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