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North Korea 18 December 2008

Where is army colonel who was arrested after filming a public execution?

Reporters Without Borders calls on the North Korean authorities to release information about the fate of Col. Kim Sung Chul, an army officer who has been held since October 2006, when he was identified as the person who clandestinely filmed the video of a public execution that was shown on Japan’s Asahi TV.

"We urge the government to provide information about Col. Kim’s current situation, as all he did was film a public event," Reporters Without Borders said. "We fear that he is still being held in a concentration camp for political prisoners in conditions that are probably very harsh."

North Korean State Security officials arrested Kim and put him in a concentration camp in October 2006, after taking six months to identify him as the person who had clandestinely filmed a public execution and then sent the video abroad. It was only in April 2007 that his arrest was confirmed.

A North Korean TV journalist, Song Keum Chul, has meanwhile been apparently held in a camp since 1996 for questioning the official party version of certain historic events.

Human rights organisations estimate that at least 200,000 people are held in North Korea’s concentration and reeducation camps.

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