Unfortunately, as Cuban exiles, we understand and can commiserate with these feelings.
Former N. Korean prisoner’s chilling letter, plea to Dennis Rodman
A civil rights activist born in a North Korean labor camp wrote an open letter educating former basketball star Dennis Rodman on the country’s human rights abuses.
Shin Dong-hyuk is the only person known to have successfully escaped to the West from a North Korean “total-control zone” grade internment camp, according to his biography, “Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West.”
Rodman, of course, is best buds with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Dong-hyuk’s letter to the quirky basketball legend was published earlier this week in The Washington Post.
Dear Mr. Rodman:
I have never met you, and until you visited North Korea in February I had never heard of you. Now I know very well that you are a famous, retired American basketball player with many tattoos…
I want to tell you about myself. I was born in 1982 in Camp 14, a political prison in the mountains of North Korea. For more than 50 years, Kim Jong Un, his father and his grandfather have used prisons such as Camp 14 to punish, starve and work to death people who the regime decides are a threat.Prisoners are sent to places like Camp 14without trial and in secret. A prisoner’s “crime” can be his relation by blood to someone the regime believes is a wrongdoer or wrong-thinker. My crime was to be born as the son of a man whose brother fled to South Korea in the 1950s.
You can see satellite pictures of Camp 14 and four other labor camps on your smartphone. At this very moment, people are starving in these camps. Others are being beaten, and someone soon will be publicly executed as a lesson to other prisoners to work hard and obey the rules. I grew up watching these executions, including the hanging of my mother.
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