North Korea Defector Describes Gruesome Forced Abortions

Kim Jong Un AFP/Getty Images/KCNA

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Grace Carr Reporter
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An escaped North Korean woman described gruesome abortion methods in the totalitarian state’s prison camps, giving a chilling description of the prison guards’ systemic extermination of fetuses and newborns.

“At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming, and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers,” said Ji Hyeon-A at a U.N. human rights event sponsored by six countries, Fox News reported. The North Korea defector recounted her own forced abortion and described how prison dogs would eat the dead bodies of starved prisoners and aborted babies.

“My first child passed away without ever seeing the world,” Ji Hyeon-A said, explaining how she was injected with drugs forcing her to miscarry. Her statements come after a 2014 Commission of Inquiry (COI) investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) found violations regarding prison camps, torture and inhumane treatment, arbitrary detention, discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to life, freedom of movement, and forced disappearances.

The COI report on infanticide also cited a witness who reported that she was beaten unconscious in order to cause premature labor, after which her baby was killed as she was passed out. The report also cites a former prison guard who recounted watching a prisoner’s baby — most likely fathered by a high-ranking official — being fed to dogs.

A Tuesday report calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes against humanity committed in North Korea’s political prisons and by its leader Kim Jong-un. Authored by three internationally renowned judges, the report also found that four pregnant women were executed for protesting against forcible abortions. The women were forced to run up and down a mountain to induce miscarriages and were shot when they protested.

Another escaped North Korean prisoner, Song Myung Hak, recalled in a 2002 New York Times interview how women were forcibly given shots meant to cause miscarriage, and that if they managed to give birth to a live baby, prison guards would immediately kill the child by piercing their skulls with surgical scissors, smothering them to death, or abandoning them.

”The pattern is to identify women who are pregnant, so the camp authorities can get rid of the babies through forced abortion, torture or very hard labor,” Human Rights Without Frontiers Director Willy Fautre, told TheNYT.

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