North Korea’s prisons are as bad as Nazi camps

Malaak Jamal (HRF)

(The Washington Post) – North Korea’s political prisons are just as bad as — and perhaps even worse than — the Nazi concentration camps of the Holocaust, a renowned judge and Auschwitz survivor has concluded after hearing from former North Korean prisoners and guards.

Thomas Buergenthal, who served on the International Court of Justice, is one of three jurists who have concluded that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should be tried for crimes against humanity for the way his regime uses brutal political prisons to control the population.

“I believe that the conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible, or even worse, than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field,” said Buergenthal, who was in Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen as a child, as well as the ghetto of Kielce, Poland.

He was part of a panel that also included Navi Pillay, a South African judge who presided over the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and then became the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, and Mark Harmon, an American judge who worked on the Yugoslavia and Cambodia war crimes cases.

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