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REPORT FINDINGS: Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Political Prisons
Date and Time:
December 12, 2017 09:30 am ~ December 12, 2017 10:45 am
National Press Club, First Amendment Room, 529 14th St NW, Washington DC.
Judge Navi Pillay (Inquiry Chair)
Host Organization:



The War Crimes Committee of the International Bar Association invites you to the launch of a Report on the findings of a nearly two-year Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Political Prisons.  The Inquiry Report finds reasonable grounds to conclude that Kim Jong-un and members of his regime have committed ten of the eleven crimes against humanity enumerated in the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The event will be held at the National Press Club from 9:30-10:45am on Tuesday, December 12.

Under the auspices of the War Crimes Committee, three internationally renowned judges - Navanethem 'Navi' Pillay (Chair), Thomas Buergenthal and Mark Harmon - led the Inquiry and authored the Report.  Judge Navi Pillay will deliver keynote remarks at the December 12 event.  Among other things, Judge Pillay has served as a judge on the International Criminal Court, as President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008-2014.  Greg Kehoe of the IBA's War Crimes Committee also will deliver remarks.  Among other things, Mr. Kehoe, a former federal prosecutor, led the team of lawyers and investigators that advised the Iraqi Special Tribunal, an ad hoc court formed to prosecute Saddam Hussein and other regime officials.

The Report contains nine (9) Calls for Action, including a call for the UN to provide the International Criminal Court or a special international tribunal with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those responsible for committing crimes against humanity in North Korea's political prisons, known as kwanliso .  The Report also calls on North Korea to dismantle its gulag system and release an estimated 80,000-130,000 political prisoners.  (Note: this figure includes scores of children, spouses, parents, etc., who have been imprisoned pursuant to North Korea's longstanding policy of eliminating the "seed" of three generations of "class enemies.") Further, it calls for targeted sanctions against persons responsible for past or ongoing crimes against humanity in North Korea's political prisons, as well as a ban on the importation of products made with materials or labor from North Korea's penal system.

Relying on satellite imagery and the testimony of numerous defectors - including North Korea's highest ranking defector in recent years, Thae Yong-ho - the Report debunks North Korea's ongoing denial of the very existence of its political prisons, which Amnesty International describes as "very possibly home to some of the most appalling torture in the world."  Evidence of crimes presented to the Inquiry included:

  • prisoners tortured and killed on account of their religious affiliation, with officials instructed "to wipe out the seed of [Christian] reactionaries"
  • a prisoner's newborn baby being fed to guard dogs and killed
  • an abortion induced by three men standing on a wooden plank placed on a pregnant prisoner's stomach
  • a female prisoner losing consciousness after enduring a beating designed to trigger premature labor, with prison officials killing her baby before she could regain consciousness
  • the deaths of countless prisoners as a result of deliberate starvation, malnutrition and overwork, including 16-hour shifts in coal mines for minors and adults alike
  • routine public executions carried out in front of prisoners of all ages, including young children

Finally, Hogan Lovells, an international law firm that previously has worked to raise awareness of human rights abuses in North Korea, provided very significant pro bono assistance to the Inquiry.

Thank you for giving this your consideration. We hope to see you at the National Press Club on December 12th.


RSVP to this event by e-mailing: sosseh.prom@int-bar.org


Denied from the Start: Human Rights at the Local Level in North Korea is a comprehensive study of how North Korea’s Kim regime denies human rights for each and every citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In doing so, this report examines human rights denial policies and practices. Local institutions are responsible for this denial at the schools, housing units, workplaces, and beyon

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the DPRK’s— 

1. System of political imprisonment, wherein a multitude of human rights violations are evidenced, including enforced disappearance, amounting to crimes against humanity. 

2. Restrictions on freedom of movement, affecting women in particular, as evidenced in sexual violence, human trafficking, and arbitrary detention. 

3. Policy of social and political discrimination, known as “so

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Robert Collins and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
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이 보고서는  기존의 연구와 로버트 콜린스(Robert Collins)의 이전 저작들을 기반으로 정치범 수용소에 방점을 두고 북한 정권의 공포정치의 사상적 기반과 제도적 구조를 설명하고 있습니다. 어떻게 북한 당국이 끊임없이 세뇌교육, 감시, 처벌을 통해 개개인의 삶을 요람에서 무덤까지 통제하는지 간략한 개관을 제공하고자 합니다. 특히, 이 보고서는 다음 질문들에 답하고자 합니다: 어떤 사회 정치적 및 법적 역학이 개인을 정치범 수용소로 이끄는가? 어떻게 의심의 여지없이 죄가 없는 북한 주민들이 정권의 관점에서  범죄자로 보여지는가? 어떻게 김씨 정권에 충성을 보였던 북한 주민들이 결국 정치범 수용소의 이름 없는 무덤으로 내몰리는가? 누가 이런 판단을 내리며 누가 이를 강제하는데 책임이 있는가?

The Parallel Gulag: North Korea's
David Hawk with Amanda Mortwedt Oh
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이 책에서 데이비드 호크(David Hawk)는 이전에는 본 적 없던 추정되는 그리고 확인된 노동 교화 수용소의  모습을 제공합니다. 그는 안전부(현 인민보안성)가 통제하는 감옥 네트워크에 대해 밝히고 있습니다. 이러한 폭로는 2014년 유엔 북한인권 조사위원회(COI)가 묘사했던 것보다 더 만연한 수준의 고통을 보여주고 있습니다. 이 노동 수용소가 “일반적인 감옥”이라고 묘사됨에도 불구하고, 이곳에 갇힌 이들의 처우 중 “일반적인” 것은 아무것도 없습니다. 수감자와 정치범 처우 사이에 다른 점은 단지 “정도의 차이일 뿐 원칙적으로는 같습니다. 강제 노동과 의도적인 굶주림, 부족한 의료, 열악한 위생 상태를 결합한 정책은 매년 수천 명의 수감자들의 죽음을 낳고 있습니다.”

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Nov 29, 2016

As part of a joint undertaking with HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea), AllSource Analysis has been monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout North Korea. This report details activity observed during the past

North Korea: Flooding at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri
Greg Scarlatoiu and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Sep 16, 2016

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC and AllSource Analysis, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, have conducted a satellite imagery-based rapid assessment of flood damage at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri in Hamgyŏng-bukto, North Korea. Thousands of political prisoners are held in this re-education prison labor camp together with common offenders.