Inmates Dug Own Graves in North Korea: Ex-Guard

And one prison is expanding, per new Amnesty International report

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2013 7:31 AM CST

(Newser) More horrific tales have emerged from North Korea via a new Amnesty International report that indicates the country's prison camps are expanding. Satellite images from May of this year indicate one of the largest sites, camp 15, features new housing blocks and production facilities; a review of images featuring camp 16 show it has added six new housing blocks since 2011, but razed 39. Meanwhile, in his first interview a former guard at camp 16 during the 1980s and '90s explains prisoners were forced to dig their own graves before they received a hammer blow to the neck; women were raped by prison officials, then vanished, Fox News reports.

"After a night of 'servicing' the officials, the women had to die because the secret could not get out. This happens at most of the political prison camps," the man said. A former prisoner also recalled public executions of two caught trying to escape. "They were brought to a stage after they were badly beaten. The prisoners were tied to wooden stakes and shot three times in their head, chest, and feet," she said. Up to 200,000 people, including children, are held "in horrific conditions in six sprawling political prison camps," Amnesty noted per CNN, adding the UN now has the group's findings.

A satellite image from the Amnesty report.
A satellite image from the Amnesty report.   (Amnesty International/DigitalGlobe)
A satellite image from the Amnesty report.
A satellite image from the Amnesty report.   (Amnesty International/DigitalGlobe)
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