Steven Kay QC and Kirsty Sutherland of 9 Bedford Row submitted the Brief to the IBA Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Political Prisons, held in Washington DC on 8 December 2016. At the Inquiry with IBA colleagues Greg Kehoe of Greenberg Traurig, USA and Federica d’Alessandra of Harvard University, the team called 3 defectors from North Korea to testify upon their experiences of conditions within the kwanliso (political prisons).
Defector 1 had been sent to prison at the age of 9 years with the rest of his family, all of whom were condemned to detention through guilt by association though his grandfather who was accused of political disloyalty. Defector 2 had managed a kwanliso. Defector 3 worked in the State Security Department, which was responsible for investigating, prosecuting and sentencing persons to kwanliso and ran the prisons.
The three defectors were supported in evidence by the expert witnesses Kenneth Gause and David Hawk, who explained the political structure of North Korea and the operation of the camps for political prisoners. The panel also received documentary and video evidence, and the harrowing affidavits of six further defectors who had been detained in the kwanliso system.
The Inquiry panel of Navi Pillay (formerly UN HCHR), Judge Thomas Buergenthal (formerly ICJ) and Judge Mark Harmon (formerly ECCC) will report in due course as to their findings.
To read a copy of the Brief, click below:
The information that was provided to the Commission included:
Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) White Paper 2016 (click here to download paper)