by WorldTribune Staff, August 27, 2017
North Korea continues to brutalize those who practice religion in the country, the U.S. State Department said in a report.
The Kim Jong-Un regime “continued to deal harshly with those who engaged in almost any religious practices through executions, torture, beatings, and arrests,” the 2016 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom said.
“An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, some imprisoned for religious reasons, were believed to be held in the political prison camp system in remote areas under horrific conditions.”
The annual report follows the State Department’s release to Congress in July of its first biannual Report on Human Rights Abuses and Censorship which identified eight entities and 15 government officials, including Kim Jong-Un, as responsible for or tied to grave human rights abuses or censorship.
The State Department since 2001 has designated North Korea as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act for having “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
In South Korea, the report said the government detained and imprisoned conscientious objectors to mandatory military service.
“Most conscientious objectors refused military service for religious reasons,” it said. “The number of conscientious objectors refusing military service for nonreligious reasons is also on the rise, according to local NGOs, lawyers, and religious groups.”