N. Korea's Prison Camps Burgeoning, Now Hold 200K

Amnesty International points to satellite images, witness testimony
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 12:13 PM CDT
In this Oct. 10, 2010, file photo, North Korea leader Kim Jong Il, left, and son Kim Jong Un attend a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

(Newser) – Satellite images of North Korea's political prisoner camps show they are getting bigger, says Amnesty International. (See the photos here.) The rights group compared images of four camps from 2001 and found a "significant increase in the scale of the camps," reports the BBC. Amnesty estimates that 200,000 people are being held, and it cites witness accounts of starvation, mass executions, and torture.

"As North Korea seems to be moving towards a new leader in Kim Jong Un and a period of political instability, the big worry is that the prison camps appear to be growing in size," writes Amnesty. North Korea has never acknowledged the existence of the camps, many of whose prisoners are there on flimsy "guilt-by-association" accusations, says the group. Click for more on the findings.

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