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Catholic World News News Feature

North Korea Engages In Forced Abortion, Infanticide June 10, 2002

NEW YORK, Jun 10, 02 (CWNews.com) - North Korea's Communist government is engaged in systematic forced abortion and infanticide against refugees in prison camps, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said that North Korean refugees deported from China in 2000 and 2001 were sent to prison camps. If the women were discovered to be pregnant, they were taken from their forced labor details, given an "abortion shot," and sent back to work. If babies were born alive, guards forced the women to kill them.

"Several hundred babies were killed last year in North Korean prisons," Willy Fautre, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers, a private group based in Brussels, was quoted as saying.

Fautre and his volunteers interviewed 35 recent escapees from North Korean camps over the last 18 months, and 31 said they witnessed babies killed by abandonment or being smothered with plastic sheets. "This is a systematic procedure carried out by guards, and the people in charge of the prisons -- these are not isolated cases," Fautre was quoted as he saying.