Catholic World News

North Korea's brutal prisons threaten political dissidents, religious believers

May 29, 2012

Writing for Catholic World Report, Brian O'Neel reports on the kwalliso system in North Korea: the system of prison camps that house an estimated 200,000 people under brutal conditions.

Any criticism of the North Korean regime can result in a long sentence to the kwalliso, where guards are encouraged to treat prisoners like animals. Abusive treatment, a poor diet, and rampant disease make long-term survival unlikely—even for those prisoners who are not summarily executed.

As with the Nazi and Soviet concentration camps, the kwalliso provide the regime with a slave-labor force, and a means of stifling opposition. Anyone found to be preaching the Gospel in North Korea is likely to be sentenced to the kwalliso.

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