‘Human punching bag’ detainees in North Korea reveal they are being tortured with stress positions and beatings
According to a UN report, North Korea may be subjecting its detainees to some form of torture by imposing stress positions, beatings and heavy manual labor.
The report, expected to be presented at the UN General Assembly in September, analyzed intelligence and first-hand reports to evaluate human rights issues in the country.
Focusing on the period between August 2020 and July 2021, the report also includes accounts registered between 2010 and 2019.
North Korea had been approached to contribute to the report’s findings, but the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had not received a response when the report was drafted.
According to a UN report, North Korea tortures its detainees by subjecting them to positions, beatings and forced labour. Pictured: King Jong Un
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who drafted the document, says North Korean treatment of detainees “may constitute torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
A report from a former detainee claims that guards beat her with a stick, chair and leather belt.
She said: ‘Some detainees were asked to put their heads on the bars’ [of the cell] and the guards beat us with a club… we were like punching bags to them.’
The report that other sentences were handed out to inmates for minor rule violations included ordering cellmates to perform 1,000 squats after one of them was caught snoring in their sleep, with more elderly residents eventually passing out from the effort.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who compiled the document, said North Korea’s treatment of detainees could be “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
While another former inmate said that security personnel used stress positions.
In the report they said: ‘In the fixed position you had to sit on your knees with the rest of your body off the ground, with your hands extended forward; so you had to stay for hours. If you moved, they made you hold out your hands and beat them with a stick.’
The report also includes a gruesome account of a woman who claims that “the skin on my face ripped open, my chin came out and four of my teeth were knocked out” after being hit with firewood.
One of the key challenges facing North Korea and the world from August 2020 to July 2021 was the coronavirus pandemic, which caused a reduction in the country’s trade with China and created a difficult economic situation.
A report from a former detainee claims that North Korea beat her with a cane, chair and a leather belt. Pictured: Stock image of a North Korean prison guard
The UN report writes that food supplies to detainees were inadequate and of low quality, with two separate former detainees claiming to know of others who had died of malnutrition.
The substandard food supply only exacerbated the situation for many, who were then also forced to work – and were punished for missing targets by cutting rations or going overboard.
North Korea has long denied the existence of forced labor camps, but the UN writes in its report that the threat of being sent to a ‘kwanliso’ or political prison camp is known across the country.
The report comes after earlier this year, when North Korea banned citizens from discussing Kim Jong UN’s weight loss and told people that gossip is a “reactionary act.”
Recent photos of Kim Jong Un waving to a crowd of eager military officers looking noticeably slimmer in his signature Mao suit
Government authorities have urged the despot to eat less “in the interest of the country” because he faces severe food shortages and claimed Kim is healthy.
Speculation about Kim’s health started after photos showed the despot was looking increasingly skinny after apparently losing up to 44 pounds earlier this year.
But attempts to suppress gossip about Kim’s weight have failed, he says Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Sources said neighborhood watch units had issued official statements warning people that discussions about Kim’s health were being banned.
“The neighborhood watch unit also said the sudden weight loss is not due to a health problem, but rather that he is suffering in loneliness for the sake of the country and the people in crisis,” the unnamed source said.
South Korea’s spy agency reported that Kim (pictured in 2018) had gained weight to 285 pounds, after piling up about 90 pounds since taking power in 2011, “eating food and drink”
It was reportedly the first time officials in North Korea have addressed speculation about Kim’s weight loss or health, as it is usually considered a taboo topic.
But some residents told RFA they were happy their leader was losing weight “because the way he looked before he lost weight seemed more dangerous to his health.”
Another source said North Koreans were happy with Kim’s weight loss because he was so tall that “it had become difficult for him to walk.”
Some observers say Kim – who is about 5ft8in tall and previously weighed 308lbs – has lost between 22 and 44lbs.