SEOUL, July 18 (UPI) — As many as four people die every day in North Korea‘s Kaechon internment camp, also known as the notorious Camp 14.
The causes of death include malnutrition, disease and escape attempts.
North Korea has reduced its prison population in the past decade and now detains 80,000 to 120,000 for “crimes against the state.”
But Han Dong-ho, a research fellow at the North Korea human rights research center at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said Monday conditions at Camp 14 are no less grim than in past decades.
“Kaechon internment camp located in the city of Kaechon in South Pyongan Province imprisons 3,000-4,000 people but there is no heating and air conditioning system in a place of malnutrition and disease…where there is a lack of proper care and medicine for the injured,” Han said, according to South Korean news service No Cut News.
Han also said there are no fixed working hours, and hours worked are filled by quota.
If the workload is not fulfilled, prisoners are deprived of food, subject to beatings or solitary confinement, Han said.
The researcher said solitary confinement consists of a week of detention.
The prison camp retains many North Korean defectors who were repatriated from China, News 1 reported.
Diseases travel quickly inside the camp and as many as 30-50 people can die in a day if a contagion spreads rapidly while the authorities do nothing to intervene.
Han also said families of the imprisoned are not notified of their deaths.
Other human rights violations occurring at the camp include various torture methods that have included punching, kicking, whipping, electric shocks, food and sleep deprivation, rape, forced abortions and waterboarding.