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(last update: 07/2017)

URGENT ACTION CHINA

EIGHT NORTH KOREANS AT RISK OF FORCIBLE RETURN

Eight North Korean refugees have been detained in China since mid-March 2017. If forcibly returned, they are at risk of persecution or other serious human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention, torture or other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and execution. A group of eight North Koreans have been detained in North-eastern China since mid-March 2017 and are at imminent risk of being returned to North Korea. According to Human Rights Watch, the group was stopped by traffic police while travelling in Shenyang city in Liaoning province. The eight were then taken to the local police station after the officials realised they did not hold any valid identification documents.

The group contacted a Christian pastor, who had been following the group°¶s travels, to ask for help after they had been brought to the station by the police. The pastor reported that as of mid-June, the group remained detained at the same police station and were at risk of imminent forcible repatriation.

Among the group are two women who said they had previously been sold to Chinese men and were beaten. Two other women suffered injuries and were not able to go to the hospital for treatment given their undocumented status in China.

The Chinese government considers North Koreans crossing the border without prior permission not as asylum seekers, but as irregular, economic migrants, and forcibly returns them to North Korea if caught. Although China is a state party to the UN Refugee Convention, it does not currently allow the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, access to North Koreans fleeing the country. Forcibly repatriated North Koreans are often subjected to arbitrary imprisonment, forced labour, torture or other ill-treatment, and possibly execution.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language urging the Chinese authorities to:

  • Stop the forced return of any person to North Korea, including this group of eight detained North Koreans;
  • Grant refugee status to those North Koreans who are entitled to it and to give them immediate access to the UNHCR ;
  • Ensure the eight North Koreans are protected from torture and other ill-treatment while in detention and have prompt access to legal counsel of their choosing and any necessary medical treatment;

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 17 AUGUST 2017 TO:

President XI Jinping Guojia Zhuxi The State Council General Office 2 Fuyoujie Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100017, People's Republic of China

Fax: +86 10 6238 1025
Email: gov@govonline.cn
Salutation: Your Excellency

Director Wang Dawei Liaoning Public Security Department No. 2 Qishanzhonglu Huangguqu Shenyangshi Lianingsheng 110032 People°¶s Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to: China Office, UNHCR 1-2-1, Tayuan Diplomatic Office Building, 14 Liangmahe Nan Lu, Beijing 100600, China

Telephone: (+86) 10 6532 6806
Fax: (+86) 10 6532 1647
Email: chibe@unhcr.org

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

In February 2014 the UN Commission of Inquiry released Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People°¶s Republic of Korea. The report documents the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the country. Individuals or families in the DPRK fled the country to escape persecution for political or religious reasons, and they often had no choice but to cross the Sino-Korean border illegally for the desperate need of food and work.

Border controls in North Korea have reportedly been tightened in recent years since Kim Jong-un came to power in December 2011. The regime condemned people crossing the border without prior permission and threatened them with severe punishments. However, such crossings into China have not stopped.

The Chinese government considers North Koreans crossing the border without prior permission not as asylum seekers, but as irregular, economic migrants. If caught, they would be forcibly returned to North Korea. Forcibly repatriated individuals are often subject to arbitrary imprisonment, forced labour, torture or other ill-treatment, and possibly execution. It is reported that some repatriated women were even subject to degrading treatment, including forced abortions at detention facilities.

The principle of non-refoulement, codified in the Refugee Convention which China is a state party to, and in other numerous international human rights instruments binding on China prohibit the transfer of anyone to a place where they would be at risk of serious human rights violations. Amnesty International believes that anyone fleeing North Korea is entitled to international protection because they are at risk of serious human rights violations if returned to North Korea just for having left the country.


URGENT ACTION NORDKOREA

SORGE UM KANADISCHEN PASTOR Herr LIM HYEON-SOO, 62 Jahre alt

Lim Hyeon-soo wurde in Nordkorea zu lebenslanger Zwangsarbeit verurteilt und hat eine Reihe von gesundheitlichen Problemen entwickelt, darunter Unterernährung, Bluthochdruck, Arthritis und Magenprobleme aufgrund von falsch verabreichten Medikamenten. Lim Hyeon-soo wurde von den nordkoreanischen Behörden wegen angeblicher „Verschwörung zum Umsturz der Regierung“ inhaftiert. Lim Hyeon-soo ist der Pastor einer Kirchengemeinde im kanadischen Toronto. Seit 1997 war er mehr als hundert Mal in humanitärer Mission nach Nordkorea gereist. Im Dezember 2015 wurde er nach fast einem Jahr in Haft der „Verschwörung zum Umsturz der Regierung“ schuldig befunden und zu lebenslanger Zwangsarbeit verurteilt. Die zwei Jahre in Haft hat er wegen seiner gesundheitlichen Probleme abwechselnd im Arbeitslager und im Krankenhaus verbracht. Er leidet an Gewichtsverlust und Bluthochdruck. Vor kurzem kam Arthritis hinzu. Da ihm die Medikamente dagegen nicht wie vorgesehen mit den Mahlzeiten verabreicht wurden, leidet er inzwischen an Magenproblemen. Seit seiner Inhaftierung kann Lim Hyeon-soo Briefe empfangen und verschicken und im Dezember 2016 durfte er seine Familie einmal anrufen. Er wurde während des Anrufs wahrscheinlich von den Behörden überwacht. Er richtete seiner Familie darin von den nordkoreanischen Behörden aus, die kanadischen Behörden sollten mit Nordkorea verhandeln. Schon mehrmals haben die nordkoreanischen Behörden inhaftierten Ausländer_innen Familienbesuche gestattet. Medienberichten zufolge waren bereits Vertreter_innen der kanadischen Regierung in Nordkorea, um Lim Hyeon-soo zu besuchen und über seine Freilassung zu verhandeln. Dies hat bislang jedoch nicht seine Haft beendet. Im Mai 2017 besuchten auch Diplomat_innen der schwedischen Botschaft Lim Hyeon-soo in Pjöngjang. Da Kanada keine diplomatischen Beziehungen mit Nordkorea unterhält, übernimmt Schweden Konsulardienste im Land und ist bei ähnlichen Fällen ein wichtiger Gesprächspartner gewesen.

HINTERGRUNDINFORMATIONEN Die nordkoreanischen Behörden haben in den vergangenen Jahren in- und ausländische Staatsangehörige zu langen Haftstrafen von zehn und mehr Jahren verurteilt. Die Urteile sind häufig in Gerichtsverfahren gefällt worden, die nicht den internationalen Standards für faire Gerichtsverfahren entsprachen. Immer wieder werden Menschen Verbrechen wie „Umsturz der Regierung“ und „Spionage“ für schuldig befunden, obwohl keine Beweise für die Beteiligung an Handlungen, die der internationalen Definition dieser Straftaten entsprechen, vorliegen. Unter den Betroffenen befinden sich auch viele Geistliche, die zu langen Haftstrafen verurteilt werden. Die meisten kürzlich verurteilten Personen erhielten bis zu 15 Jahre Haft. Lim Hyeon-soo zählt jedoch zu den wenigen Ausnahmen, die zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt wurden. Viele zu langjährigen Haftstrafen verurteilte Ausländer_innen mussten nicht die gesamte Haftstrafe verbüßen. Die nordkoreanischen Behörden haben diese Gefangenen in der Vergangenheit aufgrund ihres Alters oder weil „sich der Häftling entschuldigt hat“ freigelassen. Ausländische Gefangene werden häufig in separaten Hafteinrichtungen untergebracht, in denen sie keinen Kontakt zu nordkoreanischen Häftlingen haben. Ein Gefängnisaufenthalt ist mit langen Arbeitstagen und der Überwachung durch Gefängnispersonal verbunden. Medizinische Grundversorgung außerhalb des Gefängnisses wird gestattet, wenn dies nötig ist. Ausländische Gefangene dürfen Briefe verschicken und erhalten und in einigen Fällen konnten sie auch ihre Familie anrufen. Diese Anrufe werden normalerweise überwacht und in manchen Fällen werden Gefangene instruiert, ihren Familien eine Nachricht zu übermitteln, die in der Regel deren Heimatregierung auffordert, die Angelegenheit auf diplomatischem Wege zu lösen.

SCHREIBEN SIE BITTE FAXE, E-MAILS ODER LUFTPOSTBRIEFE MIT FOLGENDEN FORDERUNGEN

- Stellen Sie bitte sicher, dass Lim Hyeon-soo nicht misshandelt wird und umgehenden Zugang zu einer angemessenen Ernährung und jeder benötigten medizinischen Behandlung, notfalls auch in einem anderen Land, erhält. - Bitte gestatten sie ihm mit Telefonaten und angemeldeten Besuchen regelmäßigen Zugang zu seiner Familie.

APPELLE AN VERTRETER NORDKOREAS BEI DEN VEREINTEN NATIONEN IN NEW YORK

Mr Ja Song-nam

Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in New York

820 Second Ave, 13th Floor

New York, NY 10017, USA

(Anrede: Dear Ambassador / Exzellenz)

Fax: (00 1) 212 972 3154
E-Mail: bizpibf7@verizon.net

Bitte schreiben Sie Ihre Appelle möglichst sofort. Schreiben Sie in gutem Koreanisch, Englisch oder auf Deutsch.

Da Informationen in Urgent Actions schnell an Aktualität verlieren können, bitten wir Sie, nach dem

26. Juli 2017 keine Appelle mehr zu verschicken.


CLOSE YODOK!

Unsere Petition zum politischen Strafgefangenenlager Yodok. Wir fordern von der nordkoreanischen Regierung die Schließung des Lagers.

Unsere ausführlichen Informationen zu Yodok finden Sie im Untermenüpunkt "Straflager Yodok"

Attach:PetitionYodok2017.pdf | Petition (Laufzeit bis 31.12.2017)


NORDKOREA FILMABENDE

Lokale Amnesty Gruppen und Amnesty-Hochschulgruppen zeigen folgenden Film

48 METER - GEFÄHRLICHE FLUCHT ÜBER DEN GRENZFLUSS YALU

Nur 48 Meter breit ist der Yalu-Fluss. Er markiert die natürliche Grenze zwischen Nordkorea und China. NordkoreanerInnen riskieren ihr Leben, um diese 48 Meter auf ihrer Flucht aus Nordkorea zu passieren. Der Spielfilm zeigt unter anderem zwei Schwestern, die erleben wie ihre Eltern beim Versuch der Überquerung des Flusses von nordkoreanischen Soldaten hingerichtet werden. Dann gibt es noch den Soldaten, den das schlechte Gewissen plagt, da er jeden, der diesen Fluss überquert, erschießen muss. Weitere berührende auf wahren Begebenheiten basierende Geschichten kommen in diesem Drama vor, die zeigen, wie unendlich weit doch 48 Meter sein können. Trailer


Filmposter

Länge: 97:00

Sprache: Koreanisch (mit englischen Untertiteln)
Regie: Min Baek-doo (Südkorea)
Produktion: Jeong Seong-il-II
Jahr: 2013
SchauspielerInnen: Park Hyo-joo 박효주 als Park Seon-hee 박선희, Lee Jin-hee-II 이진희 als Ryoo Hwa-yeong 류화영, Ha Seok 하석 als Hyeon Yong-joon 현용준, Jo Han-cheol 조한철 als Jo Han-cheol 조한철, Ahn Se-ho 안세호 als Choi Seok-ho 최석호, Joo Min-ha 주민하 als Park Hee-jin 박희진, Kim Yong-jin 김용진 als Ri Seong-jin 리성진, Ji An 지안 als Hwang Ok-rim 황옥림, Kim Kwang-hyeon 김광현 als Cheon-deok 천덕 and Yoo Hae-won 유해원 als Jang Byeol-hee 장별희

KINOFILMKALENDER derzeit keine Aufführungen


§WIE KANN AMNESTY IN NORDKOREA HELFEN? WIE KÖNNEN SIE HELFEN?

1. How will my money make a difference? And how will Amnesty make a difference in North Korea?


Your donation will make a massive difference! 
You can help us to conduct more research on human rights abuses in North Korea. If we are not able to investigate human rights atrocity’s and gather evidence then we cannot push for change. We produce detailed reports containing evidence, including testimonials from North Koreans who are now away from the country and are able to speak up about their struggles to re-connect with their beloved ones back home. 
We are respected for the depth and accuracy of our research. Regardless of who is committing the abuses or where they are taking place, we will expose them! 
We need money also for human rights education programs and public awareness-raising activities so people know what the struggles people are facing around the globe. 
You will also help make our campaign "Connection Denied" calls louder, bigger and stronger by galvanising more supporter, resources and innovative materials to pitch our message to the North Korean government.

2. What happens to people if they get caught trying to make international calls to their family or accessing the internet? Do they and 3 generations of their family get sent to prison/camps?


We cannot be sure what the heaviest punishment could be for trying to make international calls or access the World Wide Web because the individuals caught could be charged under crimes as varied as brokerage, illegal trade and treason. In the report "Connection Denied" we talked with several who were able to pay a bribe to avoid this detention. But realistically the time in detention – usually in labour camps – would most likely be a couple of months to several years. 
About the questions of generations of a family, you are probably asking about ‘guilt by association,’ the unjust practice which subjects innocent people to arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill treatment for crimes that their family member allegedly committed. It is possible, but we don’t have reports or individuals’ family members also being detained for this type of activity, just the one caught with the devices or using the devices.

3. Why is this important when there are millions of people dying or being displaced in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan?


We care about, and will continue to work on the entire range of human rights across the globe, from the right to life to the right to health and education. Amnesty International is by no means ignoring all the people suffering in these countries. But while we care about people who are suffering from physical harm, we also cannot stay silent about the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to seek, receive and impart information regardless of national borders. North Koreans are currently deprived of this freedom, and it is one of our many initiatives to tell the world about this human right violation. 
This also directly impacts on our ability to continue to fight against other abuses of human rights. Without the ability to send and receive information across borders, it remains extremely difficult for people in North Korea to tell the outside world about the systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations such as executions, torture, forced labour and other ill-treatment.

4. Why is Amnesty focusing on access to international mobile and internet communications when there are hundreds of thousands of people suffering from forced disappearance, torture, starvation, forced labour, executions etc. inside prison camps and other detention facilities in NK? Why not campaign to end the worst of the human rights abuses?


We continue to work on a variety of human rights violations in North Korea through research, campaigning and advocacy including at the United Nations. We also can’t ignore that surveillance and censorship on communications is a rising trend in human rights violations around the world. 
Amnesty International is carrying out this campaign "Connection Denied" to urge the North Korean government to end the restrictions on mobile phone services and accessing outside information because the right to access information will enable us to do so much more to end these other grave human rights abuses. 
Independent monitors of human rights are currently not allowed to travel to North Korea to understand the situation there. Without the ability to send and receive information across border, it remains extremely difficult for people in North Korea to tell the outside world about systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations such as executions, torture, forced labour and other ill-treatment.

5. What about people who are starving to death and can’t afford mobile phones? What is Amnesty doing to help them?


Amnesty International has continued to urge the North Korean government to allow humanitarian workers access to people who are suffering the most. The food security situation in North Korea has actually improved in recent years, but people still need reliable access to food. It is therefore important to allow food and other items to be trucked in from neighboring countries such as China. According to North Koreans whom we interviewed, the mobile phone is an important tool in maintaining this market trade, which has to a large extent has replaced the unreliable government distribution system in making food and necessities available to people. Currently, mobile phones under the domestic system have become hugely popular in North Korea, with 3 million subscribers, and network coverage expanding to cover 94% of the country’s population of about 25 million.

6. Why would Kim Jong-un care? How is this really going to bring about real change?


The violations to the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and the right to access information received the attention of the UN Human Rights Council, which in early 2015 urged the North Korean government to ensure the enjoyment of these rights, “including by permitting the establishment of independent newspapers and other media”. 
Moreover, the North Korean government cannot ignore the worldwide trend of unified international communications. Kim Jong-un blocks North Koreans from calling people outside the country, because he wants to maintain strict control over the information that they receive. But on the other hand, he also needs to deliver economic development, and to attract foreign investment. 
The fact that domestic mobile phone services have been started in North Korea in a signal that Kim Jong-un may recognize the need to develop and use technological advancements. 
To bring about real change, international pressure must be raised through high profile campaign work. By signing up our ‘Send a Message to Kim’ action (Online-Game above), the campaign "Connection Denied" calls will be directed to the North Korean government via their diplomatic missions around the world.

7. What is the evidence that Amnesty can make any change in North Korea? i.e. what have we done in the past? How is Amnesty uniquely positioned to have influence?


Our past research, campaign, and advocacy work on North Korea have informed decisions at the international level, particularly in the UN, regarding North Korean human rights. With our more than 7 million activists worldwide, and their active campaigning on our well respected research, we are uniquely positioned to achieve impact.

8. What about the prison camps? Are they still there and still as bad? What is Amnesty doing to close the camps?


To date, the political prison camps are still in operation, and the North Korean government still denies their existence. We constantly need efforts to show the North Korean government that the world is watching. Our previous findings through satellite images was a powerful way to do so. But we hope that someday North Koreans themselves will be empowered to collect evidence of these grave suffering, and be able to send it to the world directly using the information technology which they have a right to access.


Eine Frau telefoniert in Nordkoreas Hauptstadt Pjöngjang vor dem "Monument zur Gründung der Partei der Arbeit Koreas": © ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

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