CALL TO PROTEST... INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BLOCK THE REPATRIATION OF NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES
HatTip to Mingi...
The heart-wrenching cries of the repatriated North Korean refugees cannot continue to go unheard. That is why we are asking you, fellow Koreans and human beings that care, to join us in a worldwide protest to block the repatriation of North Korean refugees in China.
Tel (0505)255-2332, Fax (0505)211-5119
nkcampaign@ yahoo.com, http:// nkrefugee.org
All around the world in 13 cities in 6 countries, people will be gathering in front of Chinese embassies and consulates at 11 AM on Wednesday, December 22, 2004, to join a peaceful protest demanding China to stop repatriating North Korean refugees back to North Korea, where they face imprisonment, torture, and execution. Please join us to help our suffering brothers and sisters and stop this inhumane action that violates international law.
This international campaign is a collaborative effort by:
Hwang Woo Yeo, (South Korea National Assembly), Senator Sam Brownback (U.S. Senate), Congressman Christopher Cox (U.S. Congress), Congressman Joseph Pitts(U.S. Congress), Son Bong Ho ( President of Dongduk Women's University), Rev. Kim Jin Hong, Rev. In Myung Jin, Rev. Suh Kyung Suk, Rev. Lee Sung Hee, Son Byung Doo (Archdiocese of Seoul Catholic Lay Council), Suzanne Scholte (Defense Forum Foundation, US), Kato Hiroshi (Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, Japan), Kim Il Soo(professor)
North Korea Freedom Coalition, LiNK, NK Network for NK Democracy and Human Rights, Democracy Network against NK Gulag, Durihana Mission, The Refuge Pnan, NK Defectors Association, International Coalition for NK Human Rights, Save Choi Young Hun! NK Defector Businessmen Association, Citizens Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees, Helping Hands Korea, The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea (Japan), Wilberforce Forum (US), Defense Forum Foundation (US), The Support Committee for Free NK Radio (Canada), The Council for Democracy in Korea (Canada), International Korean War Memorial Foundation, Committee for Rescue of Korean POWs, National Association for the Rescue of Kidnapped Japanese by North Koreans, Institute for North Korean Mission Strategy , US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Seoul Presbyterian Church, Jubilee Campaign, Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom, Institute on Religion and Democracy, China Aid Association, American University Korean Student Association, Helen Louise Hunter, Korean Freedom Democracy League of America, Freedom Society of America, The Support Committee for Free NK Radio, The Council for Democracy in Korea, Korean-Canadian Cultural Association of Metro Toronto, Korean Senior Citizens Society of Toronto, Korean veterans' Association(Canada Eastern Department), The Council of Korean Churches in Ontario, and Ontario Korean Ministers' Association.
Protest Contact Numbers
1. Korea ( Seoul 82-11-234-3397 Do Hee Youn, Pusan 82-16-840-1532 Park Kyung Man)
Seoul : Across the Kyobo Building (Chinese Consulate) in front of Donghwa duty-free shop (also one man demonstration in front of Chinese Embassy located at 54 Hyoja-dong )
Pusan : In front of Chinese Consulate (Haeundae-gu U2-dong 1418)
2. U.S ( 1-908-705-0851 Shin-U Nam)
Washington DC : Connecticut 2300, Chinese Embassy
3. Japan ( 81-90-8682-1341, 81-3-3815-8127, Kato Hiroshi)
4. Canada ( 1-416-244-3251, Kyung-Bok Lee)
5. U.K. ( 44-7795-563-102, Jessica)
6. Australia ( 61-425-815-341, Sanghee)
Declaration of North Korean Refugees' Human Rights
Article 14 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration clearly states that, "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."
Article 33 of the 1951 Convention clearly states that, "No Contracting State shall expel or return ("refoule") a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
Therefore, the North Korean refugees have a right to seek temporary asylum in China to escape from the persecution in North Korea and not to be repatriated where they will face persecution. We have confirmed through the testimonies of innumerable defectors that the Chinese government has continued to forcefully repatriate the NK refugees, and that those repatriated are persecuted very harshly by the NK authorities.
In 1977, UNHCR Executive Committee through its Resolution 28 confirmed that those who would be persecuted when repatriated should be considered as "refugees" regardless of their official recognition as refugees. The UNHCR at its 54th Executive Committee session on September 29, 2003, declared that many NK defectors should be considered as refugees, and that UNHCR had great concerns about the NK refugees inside China. Therefore, China should not repatriate the NK refugees regardless of whether they are officially recognized as refugees or not.
Chinese government in 1982 became a signatory to the 1951 Convention. Wang Guangya, Vice Foreign Minister of the PRC, at the Ministerial Meeting of States Parties to the 1951 Convention on 12 December 2001, stated, "The 1951 Convention is…Magna Carta of International Refugee Law…The Convention is a candle light of hope in the dark to the helpless refugees…serves as a guide to action to people who are engaged in the humanitarian work of protecting and assisting refugees."
China further occasionally stated and recognized that, "an international human rights agreement…is binding under Chinese law, and China must honor the corresponding obligations…In the event of discrepancies between domestic law and an international human rights agreement…the international agreement will take precedence…"
Unfortunately, China has ignored the international human rights laws and their public pledges, and continued to repatriate NK refugees. NK refugees who face persecution if repatriated have a right to seek asylum in China. We beseech Chinese authorities not to repatriate the helpless refugees, and hereby submit our declaration to the peace-loving, law-abiding Chinese people.