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Date : March 20, 2014
Human rights council debate: Shin Dong-Hyuk
 
 
Human rights council debate on gross human rights violation in North Korea 25th Session of the UN Human rights Council 17 March 2014
 
'My favourite word is freedom'
 
(Geneva) - 'When I turned 14, my mother and my older brother were publicly executed before my father's and my eyes....'
 
Shin's full statement follows
 
: I thank you for inviting me. My name is Shin Dong Hyuk. And my hometown is in North Korea. At present, I cannot return to my hometown.
 
I was born in a political prisoner camp. My parents were political prisoner and when I was born, I became a political prisoner as well. When I turned 14 year-old, my mother and my older brother was publicly executed.
 
 My father and I had to stand and watched the death of my mother and brother; however, I couldn’t cry at that moment.
 
I never learned how to cry upon my mother and brother’s death in political prisoner camp.
 
I ask you to open your eyes and look around the room and look for anyone who looks evil. In my eyes, there is not a single person who seems to be evil in this room, but I like you to know that we can find evilness in the heart of man.
 
In Nazi concentration camp, 6 million people were slaughtered by people whose face seemed to reflect goodness of their heart.
 
And 60 years later, at this moment in North Korea, hundred thousands of political prisoners are waiting for their death. My favourite word is freedom. If North Korean leader has his freedom, then North Korean citizens should also enjoy their freedom.
 
 No one has a right to deprive of anyone the DNA of mankind: freedom. I do not have any power in my hand, so I like to ask this from you.
 
Please relieve my North Korean brothers and sisters from their predicaments.
 
Thank you for your listening.

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