Innocent North Korean refugees, some of which are our friends and family, are at risk of execution if repatriated to North Korea.
This case is important because it is the first arrest of North Korean refugees in China after Kim Jung-il's death. Kim Jung-un, the son of Kim Jung-il and NK's current leader, declared that refugees who flee North Korea during the 100-day mourning period of his father's death would be annihilated along with their families. 30 have been caught and sent back to North Korea, but many more lives are at risk -- North Koreans that are caught trying to defect are faced with the cruelest death sentence, often preceded by a long process of torture or excruciating labor. This is because the North Korean government perceives defectors as the number one threat to their authority.
If the international community, especially China, doesn’t take a strong stance on saving North Korean refugees once and for all, they are guilty of supporting the death of thousands of innocent lives. China has the power and opportunity to rewrite history and stop one of the greatest atrocities of our time -- on behalf of our friends and family, we plea, please help #SaveMyFriend!
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We will continue to collect signatures until we know they are free, utilizing your voice along with thousands of others to show the world that we care. We would also like to make clear that this is not a political movement; we simply want to #SaveMyFriend.
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TWEET #SAVEMYFRIEND and Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/SaveMyFriend) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SaveMyFriend2012) for more updates; let's start a "revolution" online to save these lives.
30 North Korean already repatriated.
The news are reporting that China has repatriated the 30 Refugees.
It seems China has done this to in fear that if this issue get more attention,
it will have to face with harsher consequences.
In other words, they want to silence us.
However we will continue to Cry Out for the thirty who are, as we speak, most likely being tortured.
We will cry out because that is the only thing we can do. We will continue to be voice for the other several hundred North Koreans in China who are in prison waiting to be deported. We will continue to raise awareness for the several tens of thousands of North Koreans who have escaped to China in search for food and freedom. Dear China, Please help us save our friends..
Friends of the Thirty One.. Continue your plea and hollering through all mediums so that something like this never happens again...
*저희 #SaveMyFriend 팀은 아무런 정당에 속하지 않음을 밝힙니다.
- UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea
- Permanent Representative of China to the UN
- Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
- President of the People's Republic of China
- Deputy Undersecretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Assistant Secretary, Office DRL
- US Ambassador to China
- EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
- National Security Advisor
- Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.
- US Ambassador to South Korea
Sung Y. Kim
- Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva
- High Commissioner, UN High Commission on Refugees
- Commissioner for Human Rights
- Former Secretary of State
Please allow me to take this opportunity to express my deep respect for your keen interest and constant effort as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea to address the human rights situation in North Korea.
On the 8th, 10th, and 12th of February 2012, in three separate incidents, a total of 30 North Korean refugees were arrested by the Public Security Bureau in China and are currently in urgent danger of being repatriated to the DPRK. I understand that most of the arrested refugees have family members in South Korea and were captured during an attempt to reunite with these family members. One of the refugees in particular is a teenage orphan who escaped North Korea after losing his parents in order to search for his brother in South Korea.
This is a case of great significance because it is the first arrest of North Korean refugees following the death of Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il's son and successor, has declared his intention to annihilate refugees that fled the DPRK during the mourning period for his father, together with their entire families.
As you are aware, Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by the 1967 Protocol (the "Convention"), defines a refugee as "any person who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." Further, Article 33(1) expressly mandates that "[n]o Contracting State shall expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. By returning North Korean refugees to their country, China, which became a Contracting State to the Convention in 1982, openly and blatantly violates the Convention's prohibition on forced repatriation.
While a number of human rights organizations have appealed to the National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea for an emergency rescue effort, this is an issue that demands the attention of, and resolution by, the international community. I understand that the first step would be for you to issue an official statement regarding the case, and then for the UNHCR to organize an emergency rescue operation. In view of the urgency and gravity of this case, I urge that fast and effective action be taken.
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