Forced Return Threatens Torture, Sexual Abuse, and Mistreatment
Human Rights Watch
All day, Park anxiously checked her cell phone, awaiting news of her sister, who was being transported along with six other North Koreans from China’s northern Liaoning province to southern Yunnan province.
Then came the news she dreaded: a text message saying Chinese police had apprehended her sister and two other North Koreans, including a teenager, while they were waiting for a train that day in late March. The other four members of the group briefly hid out in a safe house, but they too were apprehended a few days later.
Today, Park, who only uses her surname for fear of retaliation against relatives living in North Korea, joined a gathering of North Korean exiles and their supporters outside China’s embassy in Seoul, South Korea. The group meets monthly to call on the Chinese government to stop forcibly returning North Korean refugees back across the border to face torture, forced labor, sexual abuse, and worse.
“My sister has only me,” Park said. “And we need to do all we can before China decides to send her back to unimaginable horrors of torture, beatings, threats, and being treated like less than an animal.”