Events Worldwide Focus on China’s Illegal, Brutal Treatment of North Korean Refugees; 48M Screening Planned
(Washington, DC.)…As this Saturday, September 22nd marks the 30th anniversary of the date China became a signatory to the Refugee Convention*, the North Korea Freedom Coalition is asking citizens around the world to deliver petitions to Chinese embassies and consulates calling upon China to end their illegal and brutal treatment of North Korean Refugees. Every time China forces a North Korean man, woman, or child, back to North Korea, it is violating its treaty obligations as North Koreans face certain torture, certain imprisonment and even execution when they are forced back to North Korea.
Members of the U.S. Congress heard yesterday of the horrific torture experienced by North Korean refugee Pack Kwang-Il at a U.S. Congressional hearing chaired by Congressmen Frank Wolf and James McGovern. A teacher in North Korea, Pack fled to China because North Korean authorities planned to arrest him for distributing a South Korean soap opera. He was arrested by Chinese authorities and forced back to North Korea where he experienced 60 days of brutal torture from the pigeon torture, where he was hung from his wrists and ankles from the ceiling, to the water torture, where he was held under water for three minutes at a time. Pack was beaten over his entire body and nearly died. What Pack experienced is typical for what happens to North Koreans repatriated by China.
An Hyuk, the producer of 48M and a survivor of Yoduk political prison camp also testified at the Congressional hearing describing his two years of effort to make this film based on the true stories of North Korean refugees who attempt to cross the 48 meters of the Yalu River to escape. A special screening of 48M will be held at Pilgrim Church in Burke, Virginia as part of the events of September 22nd. (See attached flyer.) Congressmen Ed Royce held a special screening of the film at the U.S. Congress last night.
A list of events and cities participating in the International Protest to Save North Korean Refugees follows below.
*The People’s Republic of China became a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol on September 22, 1982.
Toronto: Kyung B. Lee and the The Council for Human Rights in North Korea, will speak before a special event tonight at theCIGI auditorium entitled: "Behind Closed Doors: The Human Rights Crisis in North Korea" http://www.cigionline.org/events as well as plan a demonstration in Toronto and petition delivery this weekend.
Ottawa: Alain Dionne is organizing a demonstration and petition delivery as well as a film screening at Carleton College of Crossing.
Hong Kong: James Lung is organizing a demonstration and petition delivery.
Helsinki Mikko Heikkonen will be delivering petition.
Tokyo: Kan Ando and Southern Democratic Alliance will be delivering a petition and staging a demonstration. Japanese Congressmen Nakatsugawa Hirosato and Congressmen Yoshida Koichiro have sent congratulatory messages of support.
Mexico City In addition to delivering a petition, Teresa Ost is hosting a full day of films including Kimjongilia, On the Border, Seoul Train and Crossing to raise awareness of the issue and has established an online petition site for Spanish speaking citizens to learn
more about the issue and get involved.
Seoul: Peter Jung, who has been tireless and nonstop leader advocating for the North Korean refugees, will continue his efforts in Seoul with his NGO, Justice for North Korea.
Busan: Pastor Changho Lim and the Jangdaehyun Church will deliver a petition and host a prayer vigil.
Madrid and Barcelona: Alex Stanley is organizing efforts in Spain for petition deliveries in Madrid and Barcelona and planning a special prayer service.
Zurich and Bern: Alexandre Romoscanu is organizing efforts in Switzerland and petition deliveries in Zurich and Bern.
London: Ben Rogers and CSW-UK have initiated a prayer campaign for the entire weekend for the refugees as well as delivery of a petition.
Chicago: Andrew Hong and Enok is delivering a petition to the PRC embassy but also leading a march through Chicago to raise awareness of the North Korea Refugee crisis starting at 12:00PM on September 22nd, 2012 at100 W. Erie St. Chicago, IL 60610 (La Salle & Erie)
Los Angeles: The Korean American Church Coalition for North Korea Freedom will start with a demonstration at the Chinese consulate starting at 9 a.m.
Washington, D.C: The North Korea Freedom Coalition will gather at 12:00 noon at the PRC Embassy at 3505 International Drive, Washington, D.C., to deliver a petition and stage a demonstration.
7PM A special screening of 48M which will include a visiting North Korean defector delegation will be held at Pilgrim Church in Burke, Virginia (see attached flyer). Cost $20 to benefit North Korea human rights efforts. Rsvp to RSVP48M@aol.com
To join these efforts or for further information, contact Suzanne Scholte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-534-4313.