Up to 1 million political prisoners have died in North Korean prisons

A U.K.-based human rights organization has said that up to one million political prisoners may have died in North Korean detention camps. Christian Solidarity Worldwide made the assertion based on interviews with North Korean defectors and former political prisoners over the past seven years.

The report said that according to former prisoners and guards the mortality rate in the camps was about five to 10 percent annually. Based on those estimates, anywhere from 380,000 to one million people have died in the prisons.

CSW said North Korea is guilty of crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination, torture, persecution, kidnapping, and perhaps rape and sexual violence. The report also examines the possibility of genocide against Christians and other religious groups in the 1950s and 1960s.

“In light of the strong prima facie case that international crimes have been committed in North Korea, the United Nations, including the Security Council, should, in addition to taking other steps towards ending such violations, set up an international commission of inquiry,” the report said.

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