Experience in Domun Prison, China
LEE, Min Sun
LEE, Min Sun from North Korea arrived in South Korea July 2002. She was caught by the Chinese police in January 2002 and testified of her experience in Domun prison.
Q: When were you caught in China?
A: I was caught by the Chinese police in January 2002 and spent about a month in Domun prison.
Q: How were you treated in prison?
A: There, North Koreans are not at all treated like human beings. We are treated as dogs and pigs. The guards hit us where ever they like, head, arms, shoulders, chest, anywhere when we don't suite them, some are hit so hard they become disabled. They shackle North Koreans with rope thick as a finger. They tie us so tight that the rope cuts deep into our skin. They hang us by our hands so our blood doesn't circulate and our bodies swell up, I still don't have any feeling left in my hands. It would also get so terribly cold but we are still left out in the cold tied up on to a post all day with bare feet. It was just so unbearably degrading, just so hard to endure. I and other inmates would talk about exploding the prison when we get out.
Q: what do you mean when you mentioned not suiting them?
A: That refers to the answers they’d like to hear. They go after information about when we came over to China, and who helped us, but wee don’t answer those questions. How can we name those who helped us? That would ruin them; the fines are just too high…we could never name those who helped us.
Q: Did any of the defectors name those who helped them?
A: Once a woman who just couldn’t endure the torture out in the cold in bare feet named and gave the address of the person who helped her. The Chinese police made her lead them to those who helped and arrest everyone involved. Life becomes too hard for those Chinese. The fines I mentioned are just too high to pay. However we still can’t speak ill of the women who gave in…the torture is just so unbearable.
Q: What happened after that?
A: I was repatriated to North Korea but escaped again from the detention center in On-sung. China was no longer safe for me so I decided to come to South Korea.