Inside North Korea's gulags: Labour camp survivor tells of.
A glimpse of hell: Traumatised survivors relive public executions, rape and forced abortions inside North Korea's prison camps. Video by Amnesty International on conditions in Nth Korean prisons.
The forced labor has no rehabilitative purpose; it is merely designed to utilize the prisoners’ labor as an economic resource. KBA 537, 558. As a precaution against exposure to the outside world, the North Korean government gives the camps names, usually as numbered military garrisons. Kwan-li-so number 14 is an exception; it is officially known as kwan-li-so number 14. KBA 534, 539. As.
North Korea is unambiguously a totalitarian state. An estimated 200,000 North Koreans are held under brutal conditions in remote forced labor camps called kwan-li-so. Citizens are deprived of the freedom to speak, to dissent, to assemble, to seek remedies for grievances. Perhaps worst of all, there is no freedom from fear — knowing that one can be imprisoned and tortured for minor trifles.
Forced labor at the Gwalliso often involves very hard physical labor such as mining, logging, and farming-based work, all done with basic and simple tools in dangerous and harsh conditions. Death rates in these camps are very high. North Korea has never admitted that these camps exist, but US and South Korean representatives guess some 200,000 people may be locked in a prison there.
Those in state-imposed forced labor in North Korea are typically political prisoners who have not been charged with a crime or prosecuted, convicted or sentenced by a fair hearing. However, they are forced into some of the same activities, such as farming, that U.S. prison laborers must engage in.
Journalists and activists who have visited labor camps have submitted reports to the international community of how inhumane people are being treated in the country. The political prisoners are beaten and tortured using electric shocks. Food is also rationed for them and yet, they are forced to work for a long time. Further, the prisons are over-crowded. It is sad that some prisoners have died.
Overview of North Korea’s Prison Camp System North Korea has a complex variety of facilities for detention and forced labor. The two large-scale facilities that are both usually termed “prison camps” in English are termed kwan-li-so and kyo-hwa-so in Korean. Kyo-hwa-so are re-education prison labor camps, and kwan-li-so are penal labor.