NORTH KOREAN FACING REPATRIATION AND LIKELY EXECUTION
15th APRIL 2004
We would be very grateful if you would intervene
on behalf of Mr Park Yong-chol (alias Jo Yong-su) a North Korean
who was arrested and sentenced in China and now faces repatriation
and likely execution.
was arrested on 18th January 2003 in relation to the
attempted escape of North Korean refugees by boat. On 22nd May
2003 a court in Yantai in Shantung Province sentenced him and
four others to terms of imprisonment. Mr Park received a sentence
of two years imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 RMB.
that Mr Park may now be released on 1st May. He has
expressed his absolute terror at the approach of his release
date as he believes he will be repatriated to North Korea, which
he describes as a death sentence. Indeed, accounts of the treatment
of those repatriated would support his assessment. Those returned
with much lesser offences have been subject to horrific torture
is currently in Wei Fang Prison, approximately five
hours drive from Yantai airport.
co-defendant Mr Choi Yong-hun was also transferred
to this prison in mid January 2004. He is a South Korean and
has been sentenced to five years. His case has received some
attention in South Korea and he has been able to send letters
to his family. In a recent letter to his wife he indicated Mr
Park's possible release on 1st May and asked for intervention
on his behalf. He states that the thought of Mr Park's repatriation
torments him so badly that he himself sometimes contemplates
letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr
Ruud Lubbers, the humanitarian organisation Life Funds For North
Korean Refugees, whom Mr Choi had appealed for help to, stated:
'[Mr Park's] repatriation to North Korea is already arranged,
so his release from the Chinese prison means a sure death sentence'.
be most grateful for your intervention in this case
to save the life of Mr Park.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide