China should not forcibly deport seven detained North Koreans who face a grave risk of torture and other abuses if returned to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said.
South Koreans assisting relatives of the group’s members told Human Rights Watch that the three women, three men, and a pre-teen girl in the group are being detained in Liaoning province. Some of the group left North Korea in recent weeks and others have lived for several years in China’s border area. Chinese authorities apprehended them on April 28, 2019.
“China should not send these seven people back to North Korea where they face torture, sexual violence, forced labor, and other horrors,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Beijing should immediately allow them to travel to a third country.”
“China should end its complicity with North Korean rights violations by ending the practice of forcing back fleeing North Koreans,” Robertson said. “China should protect these seven North Koreans, both complying with its international obligations and sending Pyongyang a message that it won’t ignore North Korea’s abuses.”
[Human Rights Watch]