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Defectors send testimonies of N.K. human rights violations to ICC

All News 12:06 January 12, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul-based North Korean defectors' association said Thursday it has sent the combined testimonies of some 20 defectors over the North's human rights violations to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"We have sent the testimonies of 20 North Korean defectors who suffered human rights violations to the ICC via email," an official from North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Literature told Yonhap News Agency.

The email includes testimonies that the Kim Jong-un regime deprives teenagers of opportunities to study and instead forces them to cultivate opium in order to raise funds, the official said.

It also includes statements about beatings and malnutrition within the military as well as torture and forced abortions at labor camps, he said.

Along with the testimonies by those that fled the country, the association said it also sent the names of 340 North Korean defectors who signed up in December to file a suit against Kim. They claimed Kim is the main culprit of human rights violations in the communist nation.

The association called on the ICC to make a thorough investigation into "barbarous" human rights violations committed by Kim and punish the criminal through an international trial.

The move is the latest pressure applied on North Korea to improve its dismal human rights records.

The ICC, an international tribunal in Hague in the Netherlands, has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for war atrocities, crimes against humanity and genocide.


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