North Korea: Human Rights Coalition Sends Letter to Kim Jong Il Urging Access

A coalition of human rights groups will deliver a letter to Kim Jong Il asking access into North Korea Thursday, on what is deemed a “Global Day of Action.”

The letter, signed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the International Federation of Human Rights and 38 other members of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity, will be delivered to North Korea’s embassies and diplomatic missions in cities including London, Paris, Geneva, New York, Bangkok and Tokyo, as well as the de facto North Korean embassy, The Chosen Soren, in Tokyo. The letter will be written in several languages including English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and French.

The letter to the North Korean leader comes nearly a month after the coalition launched a major campaign in Tokyo pushing for the establishment of a United Nations Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in the country.

The letter urges Jong Il to allow access to North Korea for the U.N. Special Rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

According to CSW, the letter says, “We appeal to you to end all executions, stop the deliberate and systematic use of torture, close the kwan-li-so and immediately end the practice of forced labor in penal institutions.”

The letter comes nearly a month after a two-day conference held in Tokyo, where human rights activists and diplomats discussed crimes against humanity in the country.

The conference also featured the stories of torture and abuse two survivors endured at North Korea’s prison camps.

North Korea is one of the most secretive countries in the world and is commonly described as an “intelligence black hole.”

As no outside sources of information are allowed into the country and outside journalists and reporters are strictly controlled by the state, the condition of human rights in the country is largely speculated and based upon information coming from people who have managed to escape the country.

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