UN panel to hear accounts of North Korean human rights abuses
SEOUL (REUTERS) - A United Nations (UN) panel will start hearing harrowing testimony from North Korean defectors on Tuesday in a move that will likely mobilise public opinion on abuses in the one-party state that comes at or near the bottom of most measures of freedom.
There are an estimated 150,000-200,000 people in North Korean prison camps, according to independent estimates, and defectors say many inmates are malnourished or worked to death.
The panel will gather evidence in the South Korean capital, Seoul, this week and then move to Tokyo to tackle the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens.
North Korea's best-known defector, Shin Dong Hyuk, and Kim Hye Sook, another political prison camp survivor, are expected to testify publicly about hardships endured and executions witnessed during their decades of captivity, they said.