Madai Antunes Staff Writer @AlleahLaeyWarning: this article is not for the faint of heart, as it includes subjects such as torture and infanticide. New evidence has surfaced of terrible acts against humanity that have been happening in North Korea as more people are speaking up about their experiences. All of the following facts have been released by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights as a part of an 11 month inquiry of alleged violations of human rights in North Korea. Many people who have given testimonies against the North Korean regime speak of their torture and imprisonment. People would be sent to prison camps for many reasons--chief among them being attempts to cross the border into China, or having a family member that was believed of dissension of the regime. North Korean authorities believe in the term “guilty by association” and so will punish family members or friends of a person who is so much as believed to be engaging in actions against the government. The prison camps in North Korea have been operational twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and much longer than the Nazi concentration camps. Many witnesses speak of the lack of food in the prison camps, saying that many prisoners would eat worms, snakes, and rats that they found in the fields. Jee Heon A, a former prisoner, told of a friend she had made in the prison. She and her friend , Kim Young Hee, would find grass in the fields that they were forced to work in, and eat it. Each day after their work finished they would quickly search for grass and plants they could eat until one day a guard caught them and stepped on their hands. The guard then moved them to another area and forced them to eat the grass along with the roots and soil. Due to this, Kim became sick and died shortly after. Heon A buried her along with the bodies of 20 other inmates. A week later, she went to visit her friends tomb and found that one of the guards had dogs who he would have eat the bodies that were buried. One man told of a pregnant woman who gave birth in the prison. Although the woman herself was near starvation, she carried out her pregnancy and gave birth. A security agent heard the baby’s cries and beat the mother. Despite her begging and pleading to keep the baby, the guard continued to beat her until she was forced to pick up her child and place him face down in water until his cries stopped. Another man spoke of the harsh truth the prisoners were forced to face: “Because we saw so many people die, we became so used to it, I'm sorry to say that we became so used to it that we didn't feel anything. In North Korea, sometimes people on the verge of dying would ask for something to eat. Or when somebody died we would strip them naked and we would wear the clothes. Those alive have to go on, those dead, I'm sorry, but they're dead.” Despite the growing evidence North Korean authorities continue to deny these acts and condemn all testimony against their regime.
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