UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Human rights in North still 'grim'
US report paints continuing bleak picture as South activist questions sourcesA North Korean child (photo courtesy of Open Doors Korea)
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- April 12, 2011
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, released April 8 by the US state department, covers human rights conditions in 194 countries as of 2010.
The report pointed out that non-governmental advocacy organizations were on the increase in 2010 but the world also witnessed the continuing escalation of violence, persecution and discrimination.
Regionally, the negative trend in human rights continued in China, Myanmar, North Korea and Vietnam, said the report, while Indonesia was highlighted for notable positive human rights developments last year.
Especially in North Korea, the human rights situation remained "grim", said the report. Severe and systematic human rights abuses occurred throughout the country's extensive network of prisons and detention centers.
Citing North Korean refugees, it indicated that in some instances the North government executed political prisoners, opponents of the regime and repatriated refugees with no judicial process.
There continued to be reports of severe punishment of some repatriated refugees and their family members, it said, adding that in January 2010 the North authorities executed three citizens who attempted to defect and sent the attempted defectors' families either to political prison camps or rural provinces.
But Andrew Kim Duck-jin, secretary general of the Catholic Human Rights Committee, noted the report talks aboutÂ North Korea's human rights situation, usually citing refugees or NGOs, without fact finding research or visits, which "leaves room for doubts".
Most of North Korean refugees came from remote areas in the North, Kim noted. He wondered how well they know about the whole country's human rights situation.
"I can't say the report is not trustworthy" but "it is also true that it leaves room for doubts", he noted,