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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un faces accusations of massive human rights violations following an inquiry last month. The International Bar Association’s (IBA) War Crimes Committee and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) have unearthed reasonable basis for evidence of committing massive crimes against humanity by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his officials. The IBA report was published in June 2022 following an inquiry that was aimed at increasing public awareness of such crimes in North Korea.

According to Forbes, the investigation involved collaborative work between the IBA, HRNK and the Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea which is strongly supported by pro-bono lawyers. The probe seeks to pave legal yet practical options for justice and accountability for those affected by such situations in the country. Several hearings have been pivotal for the investigation with testimonies from North Korean escapees providing vital evidence.

The inquiry revealed much evidence of these crimes based on accounts that included arbitrary executions, forced abortions and infanticide said to be quite a common practice in detention centers in the country. It also made clear that these acts continue to proliferate under Kim’s rule with reports of “impure half-Chinese babies” being targeted for forced abortions and infanticide.

Based on Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, North Korea has violated 10 out of 11 crimes against humanity considered to be inhumane acts such as murder and extermination, torture, enslavement, sexual violence, and enforced disappearances.

Witness accounts state that detainees are often intentionally deprived of food as a means of punishment and control with one detainee's testimony describing the ordeal of surviving on potato skin and corn husks mixed with stones or coal. Some have even testified to the sustenance of rodents, snakes and frogs. Their malnutrition has evidently resulted in severe illness and death caused by starvation. On top of this, they are often subjected to various forms of torture involving electric shocks, waterboarding and brutal beatings that have even led to one detainee losing his teeth.

Meanwhile, disturbing video footage of North Korean defectors being dragged across the border has surfaced, revealing a look into the fate of the captured defectors. The said video clip was released by The Ministry of Unification in Seoul and has been making its rounds on social media via YouTube. South Korean officials that were caught on camera manhandling the defectors across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) have stirred much backlash and anger from South Koreans. It is believed that the individuals were returned to the North in 2019 and most likely were executed soon after.

Several North Korean officials have sent a letter to newly elected South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol addressing their sadness and concern over the images that were captured. The letter urgently called on the South Korean government to investigate the case and pin down those who were responsible for the repatriation of the defectors.

Kim Jong Un
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before a meeting with US President Donald Trump on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

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