Hanbyun, et al. sent a joint petition letter to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the DPRK and UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, requesting for fact-finding investigation on the forcible deportation and seeking suspension of execution and return of the deported defectors.
Date: Aug. 3, 2022 (Wed.)
Hanbyun, PSCORE, and the North Korean Defectors’ Association sent a joint petition letter (“Petition”) to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, Elizabeth Silvia Salmon Garate, and Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Execution, Morris Tidball-Binz, requesting for investigation on the whereabouts of the two North Korean young men who defected in 2019, only to be forcibly deported back to North Korea by the Moon Jae-in’s South Korean government. The Petition further asks Special Rapporteurs to urge the North Korean authorities to suspend execution of the deported defectors and to repatriate them to South Korea.
The Petition contains the following facts. On November 2, 2019, two North Korean young men crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) by ship and defected North Korea, and they submitted handwritten letters to the Moon Jae-in government, specifying their defection intent. The Moon government, however, notified the North Korean authorities on November 5 that the two defectors and the ship would be returned to North Korea, alleging that the defectors were heinous criminals who killed 16 people on board; and at the same time, the Moon government sterilized the ship, which could have been a crucial evidence for investigating the alleged murder. On November 7, the two defectors were blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken to Panmunjom to be forcibly handed over to North Korean authorities. On November 5, two hours after the Moon government delivered its intention to deliver the two defectors to the North Korean authorities, President Moon Jae-in sent a handwritten letter to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, inviting him to the ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan on November 26.
It was also stated in the Petition that the above facts violate the Constitution of the Republic of Korea and Korean court precedents on the status and treatment of North Korean defectors, as well as the non-refoulement principle under international law and the UN Convention Against Torture.
The Hanbyun, PSCORE, and North Korean Defectors’ Association are seriously concerned about this case, and will continue to make multifaceted efforts to find out the truth about forcible deportation, seek suspension of executions of the deported defectors, and repatriate them back to South Korea.
Aug. 3, 2022
Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea (Hanbyun), People for Successful COrean REunification (PSCORE), and National Association of North Korean Defectors (North Korean
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