9/13/2005

North Korea - suffering in silence - Amnesty International

The North Korean people continue to starve and are punished for leaving the country 'illegally', while those who are forcibly returned face torture and imprisonment in appalling prison conditions. International food aid has decreased which has further worsened the already severe food crisis. North Korea continues to severely deny its citizens freedom of expression, association and movement.
Text of original appeal
17 January 2004

The struggle against hunger and starvation is a struggle for human rights. For more than a decade, North Korea has suffered from a “silent famine” in which hundreds of thousands are reported to have died of starvation and related illness. One of the main reasons is that the North Korean government has imposed severe restrictions on independent monitors, food donors, international governmental organisations and NGOs. Tell the North Korean government that the right to food is a basic human right.

Humanitarian organisations recently withdrew from North Korea after complaining of lack of adequate access, as they were unable to determine the eventual use of their aid supplies. Several sources claim that the North Korean authorities have distributed international aid to those who are economically active and loyal to the state, while some of the most vulnerable groups – the elderly, women and children and those in rural areas – have been neglected.

Urge the North Korean government to honour its duty to protect and feed its population without discrimination. It must allow access to the country by international humanitarian organisations who can feed the starving population of North Korea. The government must also allow these organisations to control the distribution of food and relief aid. Join Amnesty International in insisting on rights for the hungry

North Korea - suffering in silence - Amnesty International

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