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S. Korean rights watchdog head urges China to stop repatriation of NK defectors

By Yonhap

Published : June 23, 2023 - 11:44

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Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in Seoul (Herald DB) Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in Seoul (Herald DB)

South Korea's human rights watchdog chief on Friday urged China not to send North Korean defectors back to their homeland, citing reports that about 2,000 North Koreans held in China face imminent repatriation.

Song Doo-hwan, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, issued a statement saying the human rights of North Koreans can be seriously infringed upon if they are repatriated and that the Chinese government should comply with the United Nations' recommendation.

"Despite the UN recommendation to stop the forced repatriation of North Korean defectors in China, there are reports that the forced repatriation of about 2,000 North Korean defectors held in Chinese detention facilities is imminent," Song said in the statement.

He also asked the South Korean government to make every effort to ensure that North Korean defectors in China are not sent to the North against their will and receive appropriate human rights protection. (Yonhap)