North Korea has upgraded its network of brutal prison camps to add six new guard posts and a crematorium as part of its ongoing “industrial scale” of torture and abuse, Amnesty International has warned. The human rights group has obtained satellite images of the secretive regime’s “kwanliso 15” and “kwanliso 25” camps, which show increased activity on both sites.
“…The imagery we’ve analyzed is consistent with our prior findings of forced labor and detention in North Korea’s kwanliso, and the physical infrastructure the government uses to commit atrocities are in working order,” Micah Farfour, an imagery analyst for Amnesty International, said.
Most of the notorious camps’ estimated 120,000 inmates are believed to be political prisoners, with many thrown in jail simply for criticizing the regime.
North Korean defectors who have escaped the camps say inmates are worked to death in the surrounding fields, while some are ordered to murder their own children to reduce the number of mouths that need feeding.
“The North Korean government is still denying the existence of these hellish camps, but year after year we’ve documented and photographed a vast network so massive that it’s visible from space,” said Kerry Moscogiuri, Amnesty‘s UK director of campaigns. “The tens of thousands of people held in the camps face unimaginable suffering – excruciating forced labor, rampant malnutrition, violent punishments, rape and even execution. These images chronicle abuse on an industrial scale.”