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article imageUp to 20,000 political prisoners in Korea disappeared, group says

By Mike White     Sep 7, 2013 in World
As many as 20,000 political prisoners in North Korea may have starved to death, or died from disease and have vanished from a prison inside the country, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
As many as 20,000 people may have vanished from a North Korean camp for political prisoners, a human rights group has reported, according to The report by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea was given on the possible fate of prisoners at Camp 22, which the article calls, "North Korea's secret gulag."
The report, "North Korea's Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps," claims the prisoners were "severely deprived of their liberties," forced into a lifetime of labor and "inhumane conditions."
Members of the group claim defectors gave some of the information about what is happening. It also claims prison guards reported on conditions in the prison and that others inside the country have also given information.
The report claims the imprisonment of political prisoners is "unlawful." It further claims the North Korean government punishes, isolates, banishes and executes those it deems to be ""disloyal to the regime." Reportedly, the government considers political prisoners to be those with "wrong knowledge," or who are "wrong doers" or "wrong thinkers."
The report further claims as many as 130,000 political prisoners are still in penal colonies. Reportedly, they are forced to be laborers, are not given enough food and are given other treatment that is "cruel."
According to, the report claims the 20,000 may have starved to death or died of disease. Reportedly this happened while the camp was in the process of being closed.
The situation reportedly occurred as North Korean President Kim Jong-un was consolidating power after taking over for his late father, Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il died in 2011. The human rights group is demanding an inquiry into the fate of the missing prisoners.
Camp 22 reportedly spread over 770 square miles. That would make it larger than the city of London, according to the article.
According to, the North Korean government has refused access to "outsiders, whether human rights investigators, scholars, or international media." It also restricts any and all information inside the country.
More about 20000, political prisoners, North korea, Vanished, human rights group reported
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