Steven Kay QC and Kirsty Sutherland of 9 Bedford Row submitted the Brief to the IBA Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Political Prisons, held in Washington DC on 8 December 2016. At the Inquiry with IBA colleagues Greg Kehoe of Greenberg Traurig, USA and Federica d’Alessandra of Harvard University, the team called 3 defectors from North Korea to testify upon their experiences of conditions within the kwanliso (political prisons).
Defector 1 had been sent to prison at the age of 9 years with the rest of his family, all of whom were condemned to detention through guilt by association though his grandfather who was accused of political disloyalty. Defector 2 had managed a kwanliso. Defector 3 worked in the State Security Department, which was responsible for investigating, prosecuting and sentencing persons to kwanliso and ran the prisons.
The three defectors were supported in evidence by the expert witnesses Kenneth Gause and David Hawk, who explained the political structure of North Korea and the operation of the camps for political prisoners. The panel also received documentary and video evidence, and the harrowing affidavits of six further defectors who had been detained in the kwanliso system.
The Inquiry panel of Navi Pillay (formerly UN HCHR), Judge Thomas Buergenthal (formerly ICJ) and Judge Mark Harmon (formerly ECCC) will report in due course as to their findings.
To read a copy of the Brief, click below:
The information that was provided to the Commission included:
UN Human Rights Council: Report of the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 7 February 2014, A/HRC/25/CRP.1
UN Human Rights Council: Report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 7 February 2014, A/HRC/25/63
Robert Collins “Pyongyang Republic” Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2016
North Korean House of Cards Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un by Ken E. Gause Human Rights for North Korea 2015
Hidden Gulag 4 Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances by David Hawk for Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2015
The Hidden Gulag 2nd ed. The Lives and Voices of Those Who are Sent to the Mountains Committee by David Hawk for Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2012
Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) White Paper 2016 (click here to download paper)
Report on Human Rights in North Korea 2014 by Korean Bar Association
Political Prison Camps in North Korea Today Database Centre for North Korean Human Rights 2011
Ten Great Principles of the Unitary Ideology System
North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 14 by Bemudez, Dinver and Eley, for Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2015
North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 15 by Bemudez, Dinver and Eley, for Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2015
North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 16 by Bemudez, Dinver and Eley, for Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 2015
North Korea New Satellite Images Amnesty International 2013