Regarding the current crisis facing the North Korean refugees, please continue to take action and please keep sending in letters to the Chinese embassies and consulates via email, fax, and regular mail. Although it has been widely reported that some of the North Korean refugees arrested in February have already been repatriated to North Korea by China, we have credible reports that is NOT true and that the thirty or more are still being held. Because this is the first group of defectors facing forced repatriation since the death of Kim Jong-il, this issue has gained more attention than ever before.
This campaign to save the North Korean refugees must be relentless until the People's Republic of China reverses their brutal and barbaric repatriation policy.
Among recent events: Save My Friend in Seoul delivered today to the American, Chinese, and Japanese Embassies, 140,000 petitions. This new organization, largely composed of young Koreans, has done an amazing job of social networking to publicize this issue and has gained great media attention and even attracted South Korean celebrities to a protest they organized earlier this month.
Also, in Seoul, Assemblywoman Park Sun Young, long active in the International Parliamentarians Coalition for North Korean Human Rights, is on a fast in front of the Chinese embassy vowing to remain there until these refugees can safely be resettled in South Korea.
In addition, recent demonstrations and petition deliveries have taken place in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and Canada and Australia.
Amnesty International launched an appeal back in mid-February directed at the PRC -- which is exactly where the focus must be.
South Korea was to raise this issue before the UN Human Rights Council. While this is a good initiative, we must keep the focus on China, because it is China that is the problem.
Two important events were held recently.
Special Event at PRC Embassy Washington DC: 11:45 AM Thursday, March 1: We staged a special demonstration this Thursday at the PRC Embassy. We delivered a coffin to the PRC symbolizing the death that comes to the North Korean refugees when China forces them back to North Korea.
Congressional Hearing on Monday: The Congressional Executive Commission on China, chaired by Congressman Chris Smith and Senator Sherrod Brown, held an emergency hearing on China's repatriation of North Korean refugees. The Hearing was held on Monday, March 5 at 2:30 pm in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building. See details here http://www.cecc.gov/
Keep Sending Letters to the Chinese Embassies, Consulates: Please keep the letters going to the PRC -- by fax, email, and regular mail. We hope that those of you with NGOs will also write your members to join in this letter writing campaign. I just sent another letter to the PRC's fax machine in Washington, D.C. and it is still accepting faxes which means we have not bombarded them with enough appeals! See my last email for sample letter and find your local consulate here: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/
International Protest Coordinators: Those of you in the 26 cities, 13 countries that participated in last fall's International Protest to Save North Korean Refugees, please consider hosting another event in the coming days! Rather than select a day, we are calling for spontaneous demonstrations to continue around the world.
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