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North Korea intimidates with public executions

North Korea is using public executions to intimidate its citizens and has imposed restrictions on long distance calls to block the spread of news about rising food shortages, the U.N. investigator on human rights in the reclusive nation said Thursday. Vitit Muntarbhorn told the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee that North Korea has also imposed more severe sanctions on people seeking to leave the country and those forcibly returned, and still detains “very large numbers” of people in camps. “The human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains grave in a number of key areas,” Muntarbhorn said. “Particularly disconcerting is the use of public executions to intimidate the public. … This is despite various law reforms in 2004 and 2005, which claim to have improved the criminal law framework and related sanctions.” Full Story

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