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A mass rally was held in the South Korean capital of Seoul over the weekend. Protestors demanded the Chinese regime stop detaining and deporting North Korean refugees.
South Korean activists and North Korean defectors protested outside the Chinese Embassy in Seoul, urging China to stop repatriating fleeing North Koreans back to the repressive communist state. It's widely reported that once deported back to the North, refugees and defectors face extreme punishments.
[Heo Kwang-il, North Korean Defector]:
"They will be executed publicly or held in a prison camp forever. Three generations of their family will be exterminated. This unimaginable crime is happening in North Korea."
The protesters have been in place for about a week now, holding signs reading "save my friend," and "their sister is precious, just as your sister is".
In China, those who escape from the impoverished North must avoid Chinese authorities as well as North Korean agents, a network of informants and local forces.
[Park Sun-young, South Korean Opposition Party Lawmaker]:
"North Korean defectors should be able to clarify their free will through a third party and go to a nation they want. There should be no other conditions than that. I think this is a fair obligation for a member of the United Nations."
Hundreds are repatriated from China each year, many of whom are believed to face labor camps and starvation in the secretive country.
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