NEW YORK — Kim Hye-Sook, who survived 28 years of agonizing pain and suffering in a North Korean prison camp, offered a detailed account of the forced labor, starvation and torture she endured under the Communist dictatorship while speaking at the U.N.'s "Victims Voices: A Conversation on North Korean Human Rights" event on Thursday.
Organized by the United States and South Korea, the event took place at the U.N.'s New York City headquarters and featured testimonies on human rights abuses in the DPRK from Hye-Sook as well as two other North Korean defectors. With help from a translator, Hye-Sook detailed her harrowing experience, which started when she was captured alongside her family at just 13 years old for reasons withheld from her at the time.
"I was taken to prison camp 18 and I was imprisoned there for 28 years, living in a life that is unimaginable, a life that is worse than a dog's, living a life like a slave," the North Korean defector began during the panel on human rights. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization has trained over 1,000 children in the last six months to become suicide bombers, according to an Iraqi human rights commission.
"Since last November, IS militants have trained more than a thousand children to become suicide bombers," Fadhil Kharawi, a member of the Iraqi Independent Commission for Human Rights, told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday.
The Kurdish news source BasNews reported that Kharawi also explained to the press that the barbaric militant group opened a "Cubs of the Caliphate" child training center in the group's northern Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, where children are taught suicide bombing tactics, brainwashed with ISIS' cruel ideology, and provided military and combat training for the battlefield. more >>
A Catholic nun from Iraq who suffered persecution at the hands of ISIS and sought to share her testimony in Washington D.C. this month was denied entry into the United States because government officials felt she would attempt to stay in the country illegally.
The nun, Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine, was reportedly denied a visa because U.S. officials concluded that she would attempt to stay in the country permanently and illegally, according to a report in the National Review by Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C.
Shea obtained Momeka's letter of rejection from the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, which stated the nun was considered an IDP or "Internally Displaced Person" defined as someone forced to leave their home that remains within their country's borders. more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who has spent over two and-a-half years in an Iranian prison for his Christian faith, is marking on Thursday his 35th birthday by urging believers to pray for America's revival. The pastor noted in a letter that his birthday this year falls on the National Day of Prayer in the United States.
"As an American and as a prisoner for Christ, I have spent many hours praying and crying out to God for revival for this great nation. We all hope for the success of our nation and for America to be blessed, but without revival there can be no true success or blessing. As Ezra's cried out to God in repentance and the Israelites joined him in weeping bitterly and turning from their sin, I would like to ask you to join me in repenting and praying for revival," Abedini' letter begins.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, and the couple's two children in Boise, Idaho, said that the letter was obtained from a family member in Iran who visited the pastor in prison last week. more >>
The Islamic State has come up with another heinous and barbaric mode of execution, as the group released photos this week showing two criminals in Iraq being executed by having their heads bashed between a forcefully thrown concrete block and a street curb.
Earlier this week, ISIS militants released a series of photos on social media that were shared among the group's sympathizers that purported to show the group carrying out the execution of two men accused of robbing and killing three women in the Nineveh province of northern Iraq, the Daily Mail reported.
Although the most common types of executions carried out by the Islamic State are beheadings, stonings or gunfire, the two accused murderers were instead publicly executed by having their heads forced over a street curb while a militant lifted a heavy concrete block above his head and slamed it down, essentially curb stomping the criminals to death as a crowd looks on in amusement. more >>
Assyrian Christians have reported a new attack by terror group ISIS in the city of Hassaké in Syria, where the jihadists were successfully pushed back by local Kurdish militia before the latest insurgence. Reports have said that negotiations for the previously 232 kidnapped Assyrian Christians have stalled, among whom are 51 children and 84 women.
"We are going through a terrible moment. The jihadists of the Islamic State attacked Hassaké for two days. They were warded off by the army and Kurdish militias. But we are cut off, like an island surrounded by jihadists from all sides," said Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, head of Archieparchy in Hassaké-Nisibi, according to Fides News Agency. more >>