North Korea is carrying out public executions of “criminals” who were found guilty of stealing items such as rice, corn and copper, as well as organizing prostitution and distributing media from South Korea, according to a recently released report.
The report, released by the Transnational Justice Working Group in South Korea, said that public executions were carried out at sports stadiums, markets and on school grounds as a way of inciting fear.
“Many interviewees said that the final decision for a public execution was often influenced by individuals having a ‘bad’ family background in addition to the crime they were alleged to have committed,” the report said.
The report was based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over the course of two years.
The report also detailed torture, starvation and executions being carried out at prison camps.
The Transnational Justice Working Group hopes to document the locations of “killing sites” to make North Korea accountable for what the organization refers to as crimes against humanity.
“It is also essential for connecting families with the remains of loved ones who may have disappeared or been killed and buried in unknown locations by agents of the state,” the report said.