Kim Jong-un’s firing squad has been reportedly carrying out executions in schoolyards, to publicly shame criminals. They have been executing people for everything from theft, prostitution, and even watching South Korean TV.
Some witnesses that have managed to get the word forward say that North Korean guards have been caught beating some of the victims to death, saying that they were not ‘worth wasting the bullets on.’
Public executions also take place in marketplaces, and riverbanks. People are executed for the smallest of crimes, in public. Reports say that Kim Jon-un’s reign has added a new harshness for enforcing punishments.
The Daily Mail reports:
The report, by the non-government group, said the often extra-judicial decisions for public executions are frequently influenced by ‘bad’ family background or a government campaign to discourage certain behaviour.
TJWG said its report was based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors from the isolated state over a period of two years.
The group is made up of human rights activists and researchers and is led by Lee Younghwan, who has worked as an advocate for human rights in North Korea.
It receives most of its funding from the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy, which in turn is funded by the U.S. Congress.
The TJWG report aims to document the locations of public killings and mass burials, which it says had not been done previously, to support an international push to hold to account those who commit what it describes as crimes against humanity.
‘The maps and the accompanying testimonies create a picture of the scale of the abuses that have taken place over decades,’ the group said.
North Korea rejects charges of human rights abuses, saying its citizens enjoy protection under the constitution and accuses the United States of being the world’s worst rights violator.
However, the North has faced an unprecedented push to hold the regime and its leader, Kim Jong Un, accountable for a wide range of rights abuses since a landmark 2014 report by a United Nations commission.
U.N. member countries urged the Security Council in 2014 to consider referring North Korea and its leader to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, as alleged in a Commission of Inquiry report.
The commission detailed abuses including large prison camps, systematic torture, starvation and executions comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, and linked the activities to the North’s leadership.
North Korea has rejected that inquiry’s findings and the push to bring the North to a tribunal remains stalled due in part to objections by China and Russia, which hold veto powers at the U.N. Security Council.
Authorities have been attempting to map out sites of mass graves in North Korea as a way to keep the country responsible for its actions.
Defectors from North Korea have told the U.N. and other countries about the severity of the abuse they have witnessed in prisons and towards any minor crimes.
They say that people are executed in the street when they are caught stealing even the smallest amount of produce.