North Korea announces three-year reductions in some prison sentences
North Korea has announced that it will conduct a mass amnesty before the 70th anniversary of the country’s establishment in September, with sources in the country reporting that residents have been discussing how the amnesty will affect their lives.
“The regime has decided to reduce the sentences of regular criminals by three years, but this does not include political prisoners,” said a South Hamgyong Province-based source on July 19. “People are expecting a large number of prisoners to be released in August or September.”
The information is spreading widely among the population and the families of prisoners are eagerly awaiting the release of their loved ones, the source reported. One woman found out that her husband, who had received a 10-year sentence for human trafficking (ie. aiding defectors), would be released through the amnesty order.
“After hearing the news, she said she had been worried about how to survive three more years after bringing food and medicine to her husband for seven years. She was happy to hear that he will be released,” said the source.
Another woman whose son had been sentenced to five years in Kaechon Prison in South Pyongan Province was happy to hear that he would be released two years early. “I’m very happy that he doesn’t have to go through two more years of suffering,” a source in Ryanggang Province reported her saying.
The source added, “The 3-year reduction will allegedly be applied to the sentences of all prisoners, except for anti-state criminals. People are hoping that their family members are part of the amnesty and will get out soon […] All the prisoners are excited about the amnesty.” ......