Satellite Images Reveal Cruelty in North Korea Prisons

Satellite Images Reveal Cruelty in North Korea Prisons. Photo: HRNK
Satellite Images Reveal Cruelty in North Korea Prisons. Photo: HRNK

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) released Thursday details of political prisons and prison camps in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is formally known.

The report, The Parallel Gulag: North Korea’s “An-jeon-bu” Prison Camps, breaks new ground by publishing twenty previously unseen satellite images of prisons and prison camps.

It reveals a parallel network of prisons controlled by the North Korean Ministry of People’s Safety (MPS, In-min-bo-an-seong, referred to by North Korean escapees as an-jeon-bu).

“There is an undeniable nexus between North Korea’s human rights violations and the security threats it poses.” said Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director, HRNK.

The report includes the English translation of the 2012 DPRK Criminal Code and an explanation of how these laws are used to control the North Korean citizenry and send thousands of North Koreans to cruel imprisonment and forced labor.

Authored by veteran human rights specialist David Hawk, Parallel Gulag’s documentation provided by hundreds of former North Korean political prisoners and refugees now residing in South Korea highlights the gross violation of North Koreans’ human rights.

According to David Hawk, “the practices documented in Parallel Gulag reveal yet another layer of North Korea’s brutal system in blatant contradiction to international laws, including treaties that North Korea has ratified.”

HRNK was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit research organization dedicated to documenting human rights conditions in North Korea.

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Rakesh Raman