This post is also available in: Korean

When: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 12 p.m.
Where: Across the street from the Chinese Embassy in Seoul (Gyeongbokgung Station exit 2, map)
What: Worldwide demonstration organized by North Korean Freedom Coalition.
More info: justicenk@gmail.com

After the demonstration, please join JFNK for our Fall Fundraiser Party at 9 p.m. in Itaewon. We are raising money to help North Korean defectors living in China.

Message from North Korean Freedom Coalition: Where in the World Will You Be on September 22nd? Will you join us to appeal on behalf of the North Korean refugees? This September 22 is the 30th anniversary of the date in 1982 when China became a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol–an international agreement that it is violating every time it forces a North Korean man, woman, or child back to North Korea to face certain torture, certain imprisonment and even execution for the “crime” of fleeing North Korea.

Even though we saw great progress and awareness of this crisis earlier this year, the systematic repatriation of North Koreans has not stopped and the situation at the border is more dangerous than ever before. We have seen a significant drop in North Koreans escaping because the brutal crackdown and collusion between China and North Korea has increased since Kim Jong-Un took power.

We must continue this effort until China reverses their illegal, inhumane, and barbaric policy which has led to the torture, imprisonment and execution of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

Petition letter to be delivered to the Chinese embassy:

September 22, 2012
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President, People’s Republic of China
c/o Ambassador Zhang Xinsen
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
54, Hyoja-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, 110033, South Korea

Dear Mr. President:

We are joining today in solidarity with over 70 nongovernmental organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens as well as individuals all over the world to recognize the 30th anniversary of the day in 1982 when China became a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to call upon you to stop forcefully repatriating North Korean refugees back to North Korea.

When China signed this agreement it showed its commitment to the international community and its desire to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in dealing with refugees. However, China continues to forcefully repatriate North Korean refugees back to North Korea who face certain torture, certain imprisonment and even execution. We understand and respect China’s concerns about individuals entering China without permission as they flee starvation and deprivation in North Korea, but we simply ask that China work with the international community to resolve this situation under international law.

We urge the end of your repatriation policy that has contributed to an environment of violent activity in China; where North Korean agents roam freely assassinating humanitarian workers helping refugees; where the majority of North Korean female refugees end up being subjected to human trafficking. As your Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai stated earlier this year, “The Chinese government has the responsibility to protect people’s safety and property, and to curb violent activities. That is the most important human right for the people.”

Ending this policy would not only have a very positive benefit for China, but would also increase the potential for reform in North Korea, which is also in China’s best interest. The North Korean refugees, who risk their lives to flee to China, do not want to leave North Korea, but they feel they have no choice because of the conditions in their homeland. If China were to end its forced repatriation policy and work instead with the international community to resolve this problem, it would send a strong signal to the Kim Jong Un regime of their need to open to the very reforms China wishes to see.

North Koreans entering your country are unique in that they have the ability to be immediately resettled in South Korea, under Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic of Korea constitution. In fact, already over 27,500 North Korean refugees have been safely resettled in over twenty nations.

Please honor your treaty commitments and bolster the forces of humanitarianism by working with the UNHCR and the international community to resolve this issue and end needless suffering.

Sincerely,

Justice for North Korea (www.justice4nk.org)