North Korea Freedom Week Includes International Protests
Contact: Jerry Dykstra, 616-915-4117, for North Korea Freedom Coalition, Suzanne Scholte, Chairman
WASHINGTON, April 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- In the last few months the world has focused its attention on six-party talks and efforts to address North Korea's nuclear ambitions. But lost in the six-party talks is the harsh reality of the suffering North Korean people under the brutal dictatorship of Kim Jong Il.
Under the rule of Kim Jong Il, millions of North Koreans have perished through starvation while others have died during imprisonment in North Korea’s prison/labor camps. Human rights in North Korea are virtually non-existent as the government regulates individual lives from speech, opinion and thought to employment, travel and food rations.
Hundreds of thousands have fled to China and other neighboring countries for survival and freedom. However, China continues to forcibly repatriate North Koreans to a fate that includes imprisonment where they may experience torture, medical and chemical experiments, forced abortions, infanticide, starvation and hard labor. Many of those imprisoned are Christians.
To highlight the atrocities carried out by Kim Jong-Il and to fight for the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people, the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC) is sponsoring North Korea Freedom Week April 22-29, which will bring together thousands of people from around the world to participate in a week long series of hearings, panels, exhibits and special events.
NKFC is a bipartisan coalition of over 60 religious, human rights, non-governmental organizations and individuals from the U.S., North and South Korea, Japan and other nations whose primary purpose is to bring freedom to the North Korean people and to ensure that the human rights component of U.S. and world policy towards North Korea receives priority attention.
“I believe this year's North Korea Freedom Week events will be more significant and have a greater impact than any in the past,” says Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition “It is certainly critical to the growing movement for human rights in North Korea for as many people to participate as possible during this special week. We will have many heroes – North Korean defectors, former jailed humanitarian workers, leaders in government and the NGO community from several nations – with us that week.
“Even if you can’t come to Washington, D.C., everyone can become involved, including taking part in the April 28 International Protest Against China's Violent Treatment of North Korea Refugees. Please join us and be a part of this week to take a stand for the freedom, human rights and the dignity of the North Korean people.”
On April 28, the NKFC will sponsor a demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. The protest is part of the on-going effort to pressure the Chinese government to stop sending North Korean refugees back to the hermit county. The rally will start at noon. Similar demonstrations will be held April 28 at Chinese consulates and embassies around the world, including Los Angeles, Houston and New York City in the United States.
In addition, during April 22-29 there will be a Congressional hearing on China’s Treatment of North Korean Refugees and Humanitarian Workers, panel discussions, a forum featuring North Korean defectors, a prayer service and the North Korea Genocide Exhibit. For a complete list of the North Korea Freedom Week events, go to www.nkfreedom.org.
To set up an interview with Suzanne Scholte on North Korea Freedom Week, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117.