Slavery is Worldwide

Thursday, October 23, 2014

North Korean Diplomats Get an Earful at the U.N.

North Korean Diplomats Get an Earful at the U.N.

© KCNA/Reuters North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
He flew in from Pyongyang to protest attempts by “hostile” elements, including America and Australia, to defame his country, but North Korean official Choe Yong-nam was also forced to hear an earful about his country’s human rights record Wednesday.
In an extraordinary session at the United Nations, Choe and the UN ambassador from the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Ja Song-nam, sat through a long session, organized by Botswana, Australia and Panama, where the horrific human rights conditions in the repressive country were painstakingly detailed.
The most engaging speaker at the Wednesday session was Michael Kirby, a retired Australian High Court Justice who has led a UN-commissioned investigation into North Korea’s labor camps, its kidnappings and torture of dissidents and the policies that led to mass starvation in the country.
Last year Kirby was so shocked after hearing hundreds of testimonies from victims of the North Korean regime, that he proposed referring Pyongyang’s leaders, through the Security Council, to the International Criminal Court, where they could be tried for crimes against humanity.
For now, Australia, Botswana and Panama merely tabled a condemnation resolution at the Third Committee, which deals with human rights. But as the Australian ambassador to the UN, Gary Quinlan, told me, the Security Council path is still being considered as well.
But the most unusual feature of Wednesday’s UN session was that Pyongyang, often described as the seat of a “hermit kingdom,” decided to fully engage with the proceedings, answering criticism with verbal attacks on the critics.
Ambassador Ja gave a long formal answer to Kirby’s allegations, the North distributed a compact disc of materials to support his answers, and Ja and Choe patiently answered reporters’ questions afterward, speaking freely in fluent, plain English.
“We have, since long, been telling the international community that the DPRK attaches importance to dialogue and cooperation in the area of human rights,” Choe, a Pyongyang foreign ministry official who has flown here to attend the current General Assembly session, told me. “But we cannot simply continue [such dialogue as long as] forces hostile to the DPRK are trying to eliminate the DPRK as a state, as a country and as a nation,” he said.
Yes, he added, those forces include the United States, which is “a hostile country against the DPRK.”
Choe said that his country has sent a letter of protest to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who happened to also be a former foreign minister of South Korea, which is still officially at war with its northern neighbor.
In the letter “We protested the fact that this sacred UN building was going to be used for sinister political confrontation purposes of certain forces hostile to the DPRK,” Choe said. These forces, he added, "are trying to defame the DPRK and ultimately eliminate the ideology and social system of the DPRK on the pretext of human rights.”
He said similar letters were sent to the ambassadors of Panama, Botswana and Australia. Even without Kirby’s criticism, he added, “Australia is now engaged in hostile activities by arranging this kind of meeting. We want to be friendly with Australia, but Australia is not responding to our sincerity, but instead it is responding to our sincerity with such hostile activities.”
He then reiterated that sentiment, getting as animated as a man wearing a pin bearing the smiling face of his leader, Kim Jong-un, on a jacket lapel can. “We are trying to be friendly with Australia, but why Australia is not reciprocating that sincerity of the DPRK? That, we are very much against.”       
Kirby’s call last winter to refer North Korea’s human rights record to the Security Council, and ultimately to the world court, is yet to go far. That is mostly because diplomats assume that China would simply veto any such council resolution.
“China is a sovereign state, and it is up to China to decide on its own,” Choe said. “No one can influence the decision of any individual country.” But, he said, Pyongyang opposes any "country specific" examination of human rights -- especially in North Korea.
Follow Benny Avni on Twitter: @bennyavni

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

America On The Brink 2014: Concentration Camps Are Being Built NOW!

America On The Brink 2014: Concentration Camps Are Being Built here in the USA...

Is this not the saddest news you have ever read? It's not a right-wing lie.

I think most of the prisoners are spillovers from the US prison system, and some of them, especially the ones in Alaska, are spillovers from Russia. Also, spillovers from the mental health system, and mostly the prisoners are coming from some kind of prior detention. Prior prison camps, in other words, run by the USA and other countries. And some of them may be refugees from other nations who are entering the US and coming out on the dark side of things.

Monday, October 20, 2014

North Korea: Children savaged to DEATH by dogs and others buried alive in regime concentration camps

North Korea: Children savaged to DEATH by dogs and others buried alive in regime concentration camps

Former prison guard reveals horror as gives evidence to a human rights hearing

Former North Korean prison guard Ahn Myeong Chul
Children were savaged to death by guard dogs in a North Korea concentration camp, it was revealed today.
Three youngsters died straight away under the snarling jaws of the prison camp dogs, defector and former prison guard Ahn Myong-Chol said.
But two others were still breathing when guards buried them alive.
Myong-Chol,45, spent eight years as a prison guard in the gulag camps before he fled to South Korea in 1994.
But he is still haunted by the dog-attack on the children as they left the camp school.
“ There were three dogs and they killed five children,” he recalled at a Geneva human rights hearing.
“ They killed three of the children right away. The two others were barely breathing and the guards buried them alive.”
But instead of the dogs being put down, their handlers petted them and gave them special food “ as some kind of reward.”
He added:” People in the camps are not treated as human beings. They are like flies that can be crushed.”
ReutersFormer North Korean prison guard Ahn Myeong Chul
Former North Korean prison guard Ahn Myeong Chul
The former guard was one of a number of defectors who gave harrowing testimony to a United Nations-mandated inquiry which last week issued a damning 400-page report on human rights abuses in North Korea.
Myong-Chol worked for a Seoul-based bank after he fled to South Korea 20 years ago.
But he has now quit his job to dedicate himself to his non-government Free NK Gulag organisation.
“ It is my life’s mission to spread awareness about what is happening in the camps,” he said.
An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners are being held in the north, according to estimates.
Myong-Chol was heavily brainwashed to see all prisoners as “ evil” after he became a guard - regarded as a prestigious role - in 1987.
At his first posting at camp 14, north of Pyongyang, he was encouraged to practice his Tae Kwon Do skills on prisoners.
And he recalls how guards were urged to shoot any prisoner who might try to escape.
He revealed: “ We were allowed to kill them, and if we brought back their body, they would award us by letting us go study at college.”
They even set up the killings by allowing prisoners outside the camp, then shoot them to be rewarded with a good education, he said.
He admits beating prisoners, but said, to the best of his knowledge, didn’t kill anyone.
But he did admit to witnessing numerous executions, starving children, and the effects of extreme torture.
When he struck up conversations with prisoners and was astonished to find that ‘more than 90 percent’ of them said they had no idea why they were in the camp, most sent there under North Korea’s “ guilt by association “ system. .
His own father had committed suicide after making as drunken remark about the country’s leadership.
And his mother, sister and brother were detained and likely sent into camps, although he is not sure what became of them.
He feared he, too, would be dragged off. So after returning back to the camp after leave,he drove his truck to the shores of the Du Man River and swam across to China.
He got involved in support work with ex North Korean prisoners who had managed to defect.
One was Chol Hwan Kang who had been sent to Camp 15 - where Mong-Chol served - with his whole family when he was nine and spent 10 years there to repent for the suspected disloyalties of his grandfather. Ahn remembered him from his time as a guard there.
But Kang, like most survivors, understood he had not chosen his job and had accepted his plea for forgiveness.
‘He met me with a gentle handshake,’ Ahn said.
Last week’s UN report was vital to spreading awareness about the reality of the camps, Ahn said, comparing what is happening there to the Soviet-era Gulags.
‘The difference is that in North Korea we are still talking in the present tense. These horrors are still happening,’ he said.
Several months ago it was revealed how North Korea’s brutal dictator Kim Jong-Un fed his screaming uncle to 120 ravenous Alsatians then watched the attack dogs tear him to pieces.
Jang Song Thaek, 67, and five aides were reportedly stripped naked then pushed into a metal cage before the vicious hounds were unleashed to eat them alive.

The Gulag: Worst Concentration Camps in the World

Living in the Gulag

Drawing. Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
During their non-working hours, prisoners typically lived in a camp zone surrounded by a fence or barbed wire, overlooked by armed guards in watch towers. The zone contained a number of overcrowded, stinking, poorly-heated barracks. Life in a camp zone was brutal and violent. Prisoners competed for access to all of life’s necessities, and violence among the prisoners was commonplace. If they survived hunger, disease, the harsh elements, heavy labor, and their fellow prisoners, they might succumb to arbitrary violence at the hands of camp guards. All the while, prisoners were watched by informers—fellow prisoners always looking for some misstep to report to Gulag authorities.
Jacques Rossi, the artist who made the following drawings in the 1960s based on his memories, spent 19 years in the Gulag after he was arrested in the Stalin purges of 1936-37. He later published several writings, including his most important, The Gulag Handbook, in 1987 (published in English in 1989).
Layout of Barracks. Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.

Layout of Barracks

Drawing by Jacques Rossi.
Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
Baraki (Barracks) Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.

Baraki (Barracks)

“The Gulag was conceived in order to transform human matter into a docile, exhausted, ill-smelling mass of individuals living only for themselves and thinking of nothing else but how to appease the constant torture of hunger, living in the instant, concerned with nothing apart from evading kicks, cold and ill treatment.”
Drawing and memoir excerpt by Jacques Rossi.
Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
Odinochka (Solitary Confinement Cell) Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.

Odinochka (Solitary Confinement Cell)

“A lesson to learn: How to distribute your body on the planks trying to avoid excessive suffering? A position on your back means all your bones are in direct painful contact with wood... To sleep on your belly is equally uncomfortable. Until you sleep on your right side with your left knee pushed against your chest, you counterbalance the weight of your left hip and relieve the right side of your rib cage. You leave your right arm along the body, and put your right... cheekbone against the back of your left hand.”
Drawing and memoir excerpt by Jacques Rossi.
Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
Soup Ration. Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.

Soup Ration

Drawing by Jacques Rossi.
Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
Self-Portrait. Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.


“There is nothing you can do to protect yourself against cold.”
Drawing and memoir excerpt by Jacques Rossi.
Courtesy of Regina Gorzkowski-Rossi.
Jacket. Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Typical winter overcoat worn by most of the Soviet population in the 1930s through 1950s. The coat is very similar to the type provided to Gulag prisoners.
Jacket. Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Camp jacket of maximum security prisoner.
Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Paika. “Ration.” Prisoners in the Gulag received food according to how much work they did. A full ration barely provided enough food for survival. If a prisoner did not fulfill his daily work quota, he received even less food. If a prisoner consistently failed to fulfill his work quotas, he would slowly starve to death.
Prisoners’ eating utensils. Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.

Prisoners’ Eating Utensils

  1. Prisoner Dish. Courtesy of The Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
    Dish from labor camp Stvor, Perm region, 1950s. Before the 1950s, camps did not provide dishes, and prisoners ate food from small pots.
  2. Prisoner Spoon. Courtesy of The Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
    Portion of hand-made spoon from labor camp Bugutychag, Kolyma, 1930s. Spoons were considered a luxury in the 1930s and 1940s, and most prisoners had to eat with their hands and drink soup out of pots.
  3. Prisoner Pot. Courtesy of The Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
    Pot made out of a tin can from a labor camp in Kolyma, 1930s. Such pots were made in the camp workshops by prisoners who exchanged them for food.
  4. Prisoner Mug.Courtesy of The Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
    Camp mug from labor camp Bugutychag, Kolyma, 1930s. Originally manufactured as a kerosene measuring cup, this mug is unusually durable. It was probably stolen from the camp workshop by a prisoner to use as his personal mug.
Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Varlam Shalamov. Russian writer. Gulag prisoner for over twenty years. Courtesy of the International Memorial Society.

Varlam Shalamov

Russian author who was imprisoned in the Gulag for more than 20 years. He wrote the celebrated Kolyma Tales, a series of short stories based on his life in the Gulag.
Courtesy of the International Memorial Society.
"Each time they brought in the soup... it made us all want to cry. We were ready to cry for fear that the soup would be thin. And when a miracle occurred and the soup was thick we couldn’t believe it and ate it as slowly as possible. But even with thick soup in a warm stomach there remained a sucking pain; we’d been hungry for too long. All human emotions—love, friendship, envy, concern for one’s fellow man, compassion, longing for fame, honesty—had left us with the flesh that had melted from our bodies...“
V.T. Shalamov, “Dry Rations,” from Kolyma Tales.
Prisoners’ daily bread ration. Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Prisoners’ daily bread ration.
Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.
Dokhodiaga (Goner) Courtesy of Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia Foundation, Moscow.

Dokhodiaga (Goner)

Goners were extremely emaciated prisoners on the verge of death from starvation. Their presence constantly reminded prisoners of their potential fate if they failed to fulfill work quotas and thus were deprived of their full food rations.
Drawing by Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia, former Gulag prisoner.
Courtesy of Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia Foundation, Moscow.

This map shows where the world’s 30 million slaves live.

This map shows where the world’s 30 million slaves live. There are at least 200,000 in the U.S. or more.

 October 17, 2013 

We think of slavery as a practice of the past, an image from Roman colonies or 18th-century American plantations, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists. There are 29.8 million people living as slaves right now, according to a comprehensive new report  issued by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation.
This is not some softened, by-modern-standards definition of slavery. These 30 million people are living as forced laborers, forced prostitutes, child soldiers, child brides in forced marriages and, in all ways that matter, as pieces of property, chattel in the servitude of absolute ownership. Walk Free investigated 162 countries and found slaves in every single one. But the practice is far worse in some countries than others.
The country where you are most likely to be enslaved is Mauritania. Although this vast West African nation has tried three times to outlaw slavery within its borders, it remains so common that it is nearly normal. The report estimates that four percent of Mauritania is enslaved – one out of every 25 people. (The aid group SOS Slavery, using a broader definition of slavery, estimated several years ago that as  many as 20 percent of Mauritanians might be enslaved.)
The map at the top of this page shows almost every country in the world colored according to the share of its population that is enslaved. The rate of slavery is also alarmingly high in Haiti, in Pakistan and in India, the world's second-most populous country. In all three, more than 1 percent of the population is estimated to live in slavery.
A few trends are immediately clear from the map up top. First, rich, developed countries tend to have by far the lowest rates of slavery. The report says that effective government policies, rule of law, political stability and development levels all make slavery less likely. The vulnerable are less vulnerable, those who would exploit them face higher penalties and greater risk of getting caught. A war, natural disaster or state collapse is less likely to force helpless children or adults into bondage. Another crucial factor in preventing slavery is discrimination. When society treats women, ethnic groups or religious minorities as less valuable or less worthy of protection, they are more likely to become slaves.
Then there are the worst-affected regions. Sub-Saharan Africa is a swath of red, with many countries having roughly 0.7 percent of the population enslaved -- or one in every 140 people. The legacies of the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism are still playing out in the region; ethnic divisions and systems of economic exploitation engineered there during the colonial era are still, to some extent, in place. Slavery is also driven by extreme poverty, high levels of corruption and toleration of child "marriages" of young girls to adult men who pay their parents a "dowry."
Two other bright red regions are Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Both are blighted particularly by sex trafficking, a practice that bears little resemblance to popular Western conceptions of prostitution. Women and men are coerced into participating, often starting at a very young age, and are completely reliant on their traffickers for not just their daily survival but basic life choices; they have no say in where they go or what they do and are physically prevented from leaving. International sex traffickers have long targeted these two regions, whose women and men are prized for their skin tones and appearance by Western patrons.
Here, to give you a different perspective of slavery's scope, is a map of the world showing the number of slaves living in each country:
Yes, this map can be a little misleading. The United States, per capita, has a very low rate of slavery: just 0.02 percent, or one in every 5,000 people. But that adds up to a lot: an estimated 60,000 slaves, right here in America.
If your goal is to have as few slaves as possible -- Walk Free says it is working to eradicate the practice in one generation's time -- then this map is very important, because it shows you which countries have the most slaves and thus which governments can do the most to reduce the global number of slaves. In that sense, the United States could stand to do a lot.
You don't have to go far to see slavery in America. Here in Washington, D.C., you can sometimes spot them on certain streets, late at night. Not all sex workers or "prostitutes" are slaves, of course; plenty have chosen the work voluntarily and can leave it freely. But, as the 2007 documentary "Very Young Girls" demonstrated, many are coerced into participating at a young age and gradually shifted into a life that very much resembles slavery.
A less visible but still prevalent form of slavery in America involves illegal migrant laborers who are lured with the promise of work and then manipulated into forced servitude, living without wages or freedom of movement, under constant threat of being turned over to the police should they let up in their work. Walk Free cites "a highly developed criminal economy that preys on economic migrants, trafficking and enslaving them." That economy stretches from the migrants' home countries right to the United States.
The country that is most marked by slavery, though, is clearly India. There are an estimated 14 million slaves in India – it would be as if the entire population of Pennsylvania were forced into slavery. The country suffers deeply from all major forms of slavery, according to the report. Forced labor is common, due in part to a system of hereditary debt bondage; many Indian children are born "owing" sums they could never possibly pay to masters who control them as chattel their entire lives. Others fall into forced labor when they move to a different region looking for work, and turn to an unlicensed "broker" who promises work but delivers them into servitude. The country's caste system and widespread discrimination abet social norms that make it easier to turn a blind eye to the problem. Women and girls from underprivileged classes are particularly vulnerable to sexual slavery, whether under the guise of "child marriages" or not, although men and boys often fall victim as well.
One of the world's most vulnerable populations for enslavement is Haitian children. Haiti has the world's second-highest rate of slavery -- 2.1 percent, or about one in every 48 people, many of them underage. There's even a word for it: "restaveks," from the colonial French for "reste avec" or "stay with." Traditionally, the word refers to a poor family sending their child to live with and work for a wealthier family. Often it is innocuous. But it can also encompass parents who feel they have no choice, typically because they have no income other than what they derive from selling their children into forced labor conditions that strongly resemble slavery. About one in 10 Haitian children are believed to participate. Those who run away, according to the report, are often "trafficked into forced begging and commercial sexual exploitation."
What's perhaps most amazing about the prevalence of slavery around the world is how similar it can look across very different societies. The risk factors might change from one place to another, the causes varying widely, but the lives of the enslaved rarely do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nigeria: Deal Agreed To Return Kidnapped Girls

Nigeria: Deal Agreed To Return Kidnapped Girls


Nigeria's presidency says it has agreed a ceasefire with militants Boko Haram which would see the return of 219 kidnapped girls.
Air Marshal Alex Badeh, chief of defence staff, said: "A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram).
"I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field."
The president's principal secretary Hassan Tukur told the AFP news agency that an agreement to end hostilities had been reached after talks with the Islamist group.
He said: "Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them.
"That have agreed to release the Chibok girls."
The talks are thought to have taken place in neighbouring Chad, with the country's president Idriss Deby mediating negotiations.
Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls at gunpoint from a school in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria, on April 14.
Some of the girls managed to escape from the group in the aftermath of their kidnap or during fighting among militants, but 219 remain missing.
Sky's Special Correspondent Alex Crawford said authorities were "cautiously optimistic" the girls would be released.
She said: "Boko Haram have assured Nigerian authorities that the Chibok schoolgirls are well and safe.
"The gives everyone an indication that there is a very clear possibility that the girls could be freed as part of this deal.
"Nigerian authorities are going out of their way to say there is no deal, that there are no conditions attached to the ceasefire."
Mr Jonathan has faced strong criticism over a deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, with areas in the northeast Borno state inaccessible due to the threat from Boko Haram.
The group has demanded the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls.
It comes after 107 Boko Haram militants and eight soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Cameroon on Friday, the defence ministry said.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


A 2-million bed mental hospital in Alaska? By Mary Neal

Friday, August 7, 2009
A 2-million bed mental hospital? What Happened to Larry Neal?
[link to

Mary Neal's Sharebook Share
By Mary Neal

I have a question. Why does any congressional rep feel that we need “emergency centers” in America that are capable of holding millions of people under armed guard?

[link to

And secondly, is anyone really building a mental institution in Alaska with 2 million beds as reported in this link?

Serious World Politics Blog:
[link to

Here is one interesting quote from that website that is real strange.

"This blog is mainly about relocation internment concentration death camps in America. Not since the Holocaust has there been so much potential for concentration, torture and even death camps in the outlying areas of America, especially Alaska, where there's something big going on outside of Fairbanks, not far from a two million bed American mental institution. TWO MILLION BEDS? Isn't that expecting a bit of a mental population - or something else? It's not very far from Siberia..."

Legislators, I frequently write that we need more mental hospital space, but if there really is a 2-million bed facility being built in Alaska, that seems a bit much. Plus, mental hospitals should be located in each state within easy reach by transportation vendors so that families can visit their sick relatives and participate in their recouperation process. You would not want to ship all the sick people to Alaska, and Alaska probably does not have anywhere near that many mentally ill. So I assume the website is wrong about a gigantic mental hospital being built, right?

I don't know if the report on the 2-million bed mental hospital in Alaska is real, but I know that H.R. 645 is real. It is right here on Thomas, the Library of Congress site to track congressional bills: [link to

Speaking of mentally ill people, I am disappointed to report that the United States Department of Justice is overdue on its Response to our Freedom of Information Act Requests for records related to Shelby County Jail where my mentally and physically handicapped brother, Larry Neal, was secretly arrested Guantanamo-style, and died under yet undisclosed circumstances on August 1, 2003 after weeks of secret incarceration.

Now, I recognize that I am not a person whose opinion matters, being black and far from wealthy. However, I will make this request anyway. I would prefer that y'all don't use the buzz words "OPEN DISCLOSURE" and "EQUAL JUSTICE" or say America needs to have expensive wars to uphold human rights in foreign lands another time until you tell us WHAT HAPPENED TO LARRY NEAL.

What about this? Let's get some equal justice and human rights going on in America, especially surrounding the suspicious death and conspiracy of cover-up regarding this handicapped U.S. citizen before we fire another shot to promote "democracy" abroad.

In fact, it would be a good idea to wait until you determine that all U.S. prisoners, especially condemned inmates, get every opportunity (including post-conviction DNA testing) to prove their innocence before facilitating hanging other nations' leaders for killing their own innocent citizens.

Certainly, people should be alarmed if facilities resembling concentration camps are erected in a land where citizens disappear into government custody and emerge in body bags without explanation like my brother did. So I ask that all Care2 members please call your representatives and let them know you want them to vote no on H.R. 645 if it ever comes up for a vote in Congress.

Good gracious! The notion of spending billions of dollars on "emergency centers" to prepare for a "possible crisis" like Katrina while thousands of folks are losing their homes and are in economic crisis right now simply does not compute, representatives. I don't know what Rep. Hastings has in mind to propose the six concentration camps or emergency centers, whichever the case may be, but people need to call their representatives and ask about the plan. While you are on the phone, ask the folks in D.C. this question for me: WHAT HAPPENED TO LARRY NEAL? Below is the contact info.

Congress: [link to (secure)

USDOJ eMail:

Mary Neal
[link to

Articles: [link to
Posted by Karen Cole Peralta at 8:23 PM