NKorea conducts public executions at school grounds, marketplaces: report

NKorea conducts public executions at school grounds, marketplaces: report

PanARMENIAN.Net - North Korea carries out public executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing media from South Korea and prostitution, a report issued on Wednesday, July 19 said, according to Reuters.

The report, by a Seoul-based non-government group, said the often extra-judicial decisions for public executions are frequently influenced by "bad" family background or a government campaign to discourage certain behavior.

The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) said its report was based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors from the isolated state over a period of two years.

Reuters could not independently verify the testimony of defectors in the report. The TJWG is made up of human rights activists and researchers and is led by Lee Younghwan, who has worked as an advocate for human rights in North Korea.

It receives most of its funding from the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy, which in turn is funded by the U.S. Congress.

The TJWG report aims to document the locations of public killings and mass burials, which it says had not been done previously, to support an international push to hold to account those who commit what it describes as crimes against humanity.

"The maps and the accompanying testimonies create a picture of the scale of the abuses that have taken place over decades," the group said.

North Korea rejects charges of human rights abuses, saying its citizens enjoy protection under the constitution and accuses the United States of being the world's worst rights violator.

However, the North has faced an unprecedented push to hold the regime and its leader, Kim Jong Un, accountable for a wide range of rights abuses since a landmark 2014 report by a United Nations commission.

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