Home » World News » North Korea detainees forced to squat 1000 times for snoring, UN reports finds
North Korea detainees forced to squat 1000 times for snoring, UN reports finds
August 27, 2021
North Korea could be submitting its detainees to torture by inflicting them with beatings, stress positions and hard manual labour, according to a report by the UN.
The worrying report, which is due to be presented at the UN general assembly in September, has studied first hand accounts and intelligence reports to see if there is a breach of human rights in the country.
The report covers the period between August 2020 to July 2021, as well as featuring reported accounts from 2010 to 2019.
North Korea has reportedly been approached to work with the UN on the report, but the High Commissioner for Human Rights says they have not received a reply.
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UN secretary-general António Guterres, who put together the document, says that North Korea's treatment of detainees may "constitute torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".
One account featured in the report by a former detainee claims that guards beat her with a chair, stick and leather belt, MailOnline reports.
She said: "Some detainees were asked to place their heads on the bars [of the cell] and the guards would beat us with a club… we were just like punching bags to them."
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Another report claims that cellmates were forced to perform 1,000 squats after one was caught snoring in their sleep, which caused elderly detainees to faint from fatigue.
One former inmate said that security personnel utilised stress positions.
Speaking in the report, they said: "In the fixed position, you had to be on your knees with the rest of your body off the ground, with your hands extended forward; you had to stay like that for hours. If you moved, they made you stick your hands out and hit them with a cane."
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A gruesome account from another former detainee says "the skin on my face tore open, my chin became dislocated and four of my teeth were knocked out" after she was hit with firewood.
The UN report also states that food supplied to the detainees was of low quality and inadequate.
Two former inmates claim they now others who have died from starvation.