Executions take place on riverbanks, school grounds and in marketplaces by shooting, and in some cases, by beating to save bullets. Stealing rice, corn, copper or circulating South Korean news are the main crimes. The report is based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over two years.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – North Korea carries out public executions on river banks, at school grounds and in marketplaces for charges such as stealing copper, circulating South Korean news and prostitution, a report issued on Wednesday said.
The sentences are usually executed by shooting, but in some cases prisoners are beaten to death to save bullets.
The report, by a Seoul-based non-government group, says that public executions in North Korea are carried out for propaganda purposes to discourage certain types of behaviour.
For the first time, the study by the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) maps the areas where executions have taken place. It is based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over the past two years.
The TJWG 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 US-based National Endowment for Democracy, which in turn is funded by the US Congress.
In 2014, the United Nations launched an inquiry against North Korea for crimes against humanity.
The report detailed abuses including large prison camps, systematic torture, starvation and executions, but Russia's and China vetoed any action on the part of the International Court of Justice.
(Pictured: the drawing of an execution, included in the 2014 UN report)