[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

New images show scale of North Korea prisons

According to Amnesty the construction of new housing units could mean prison population may have increased.

Last updated: 05 Dec 2013 11:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The image taken May 2013 shows new housing units under construction in Camp 16 [Amnesty]

Satellite images released by the rights group, Amnesty International, show on-going developments at North Korea's main political prison camps - camp 15 and 16.

The images, released on Thursday, of the camps known as Kwanliso were taken in May 2013 and show new housing blocks and expansion of production facilities.

Mr Lee, a former prison official of camp 16 described the conditions at the prison camps as "degrading." 

"The purpose of prison camps is to oppress, degrade, and violate the inmates for as long as they are alive," Lee told Amnesty.

"The prisoners are only humans insofar as they can speak. In reality though, they are worse off than animals." he added.

Thousands languishing

Calling on the North Korean government to release all political prisoners, Amnesty's Rajiv Narayan, said, "The conditions in these camps are very severe.

"Not only do they have to work pretty much most of the day in dangerous conditions where they could die at any time, they also have very little food.

"So they could die of malnutrition, but also we’ve heard that torture is rampant, that there is rape of women inmates and of course executions as well."

It is estimated thousands of political prisoners languish in jails in North Korea, which has the biggest standing army in the world.

214

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.