South Korean Humanitarian Aid Worker Languishes in Chinese Jail
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 Posted: 11:55 AM JST
(by Hiroshi Kato) - The United States recently accepted 6 North Korean refugees, which marks a dramatic change in the situation of North Korean refugees. But for Choi Yong-hun, a South Korean humanitarian aid worker, nothing has changed. After having served 3 years and 4 months in a Chinese prison, he is still being punished for his attempt to help North Korean refugees in China.
Choi Yong-hun's wife visited him on April 26. The following is a brief summary of her report.
My husband looked pale and had grown even thinner, indicating his extended difficulties with life in the prison, but he smiled when he mentioned that people call him "Mr. Missionary" in the prison.
He never fails to read the Bible and pray every morning, believing the God will help him. He also repeatedly mentioned how sorry he was that he had been causing so much trouble to his family, in addition to not being able to support his parents and family members.
The meeting with Choi Yong-hun only lasted 30 minutes, and his mother and I could not help but follow him with our tear-filled eyes until he was led out of sight.
LFNKR urges you to send postcards or letters to the Shandong Province Prison, letting the general manager know that the eyes of the world are on him and on China's "justice" system.
For more details, refer to the report from Choi's wife (Aug. 2004).
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General Manager of Shandong Province Prison
Shandong Province Prison Office
163 Lishan Road
Jinan City, Shandong Province
Dear General Manager of Shandong Prison:
I was shocked to learn that Mr. Choi Yong-hun, a South Korean humanitarian aid worker, was sentenced to 5 years for his attempt to help desperate North Korean refugees in China, and that he is still incarcerated in your prison after serving 3 years and 4 months!
It has already been widely recognized by international society that the North Korean defectors into China are true refugees. For example, the United Nations General Assembly passed the Resolution on Human Rights on North Korea in November last year, and the United States of America recently accepted six refugees from North Korea while officially announcing that it will accept more.
Please immediately release Mr. Choi Yong-hun to show that China respects human rights.
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For more information, contact:
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (NPO)
A-101, 2-2-8 Nishikata, Bunkyo-ku
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