Suzanne Scholte and her North Korea Freedom Coalition are leading up Save North Korea Refugees Day this Monday. If you’re in DC, please consider showing up to this event. I’m copy/pasting her press release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
North Korean Escapees, Activists Call for Action to Save Refugees: Events at State Department, Chinatown
WHEN: Monday, September 22, 2014
Press Conference 4 pm at US State Department — across from C Street entrance
Dramatic Demonstration at 5 pm Chinatown — US-China Friendship Gate (7th & H NW)
(Washington, D.C.) … Members of the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC), joined by North Korean escapees, will hold a press conference outside the State Department at 4 pm on Monday, September 22, 2014 and stage a demonstration at 5 pm in Chinatown to highlight the increasingly horrific situation facing North Koreans trying to escape to South Korea and other countries.
The dangers facing North Korean refugees has continued to escalate since Kim Jong Eun took power and China has recently stepped up deportations of those trying to help North Koreans making the situation increasingly dire. Even the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on North Korea decried China’s treatment of refugees when they concluded North Korea was guilty of crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights.
“There is absolutely no reason for China to continue their brutal policy of repatriation,” said NKFC Chairman Suzanne Scholte. “North Koreans are the only refugees in the world who have an immediate place to go for resettlement as they are recognized as citizens of South Korea, and they have also been safely resettled in the United States and other countries.”
While NKFC has regularly highlighted China’s cruel action, it is also calling for the United States to do more.
Present at both events will be refugees who have resettled here who are deeply grateful to the United States but believe more must be done including Jo Jinhye, who established NKinUSA to help rescue North Koreans. Jo, who has testified before the UN Commission of Inquiry and the US Congress on the situation, will reveal current information on refugees in immediate peril.
“While China is guilty of horrific treatment of North Koreans, the United States must do more to help,” said Jason West, a spokesman for NKFC who is helping organize the events. “There are refugees right now who have been held in detention centers in Thailand for months simply because they want to resettle in the US.”
Each year NKFC has marked September 22nd as their annual Save North Korean Refugees Day as September 22nd marks the anniversary of the day in 1981 when China became a signatory to the Refugee Convention, an international agreement it violates every time it forces a North Korean back to North Korea.
The public is invited to participate in support of NKFC’s simultaneous calls for the United States to take more action to save refugees AND for the government of China to end their brutal, inhumane, and horrific treatment of North Korean men, women, and children. The public can sign their online petitions to President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama to save North Korean refugees.
The North Korea Freedom Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition founded to work for the freedom, human rights, and dignity of the North Korean people. The Coalition has public member organizations representing millions of people around the world along with many individual members. The Coalition also has private members that provide humanitarian relief inside North Korea and members in China and other nations that feed, shelter, and rescue North Korean refugees. For further information, please visit www.nkfreedom.org.
Media inquiries may be directed to Jason West at (301) 660-7009.