SEOUL– China appears to have intensified its crackdown on North Kora defectors and detained at least 41 refugees over the past two months, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday.
“China has detained at least 41 North Korean refugees, and an undetermined number of their guides, in the past two months,” the organization said on its homepage citing activists and North Koreans living in South Korea.
Most of them were arrested in China’s Yunnan Province, which borders Laos, and Jilin Province, adjacent to North Korea, the watchdog said.
It marks a steep rise from 51 North Korean detainees documented by the group between July 2016 and June 2017. The total 92 people in custody include a newborn, 11 children and four old women, it said.
China is also believed to have forcibly sent at least 37 defectors back to the North since July last year, the groupo said, citing activists helping defectors.
Source: Yonhap News Agency