UN rapporteur criticises China for repatriating N Korean defectors
UN rapporteur criticises China for repatriating N Korean defectors

Seoul: According to a news source on Tuesday, a UN rapporteur has slammed China for repatriating North Korean defectors, calling the practise a major violation of international law. "This is a very severe matter, and the government is defying international law," said Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights. "I once again urge the People's Republic of China to consider applying the principle of 'non-refoulment to North Koreans who may be subjected to torture or other cruel, barbaric, or degrading treatment or punishment if they are repatriated," Quintana said.

North Koreans "entered China for economic purposes through unlawful methods," Chinese govt said. As a result, they are "illegal immigrants, not refugees," according to the report.

Despite its international obligations under the Refugee Convention and its Protocol, the Chinese authorities take such a stance and "dodge the application of this critical principle that protects every human being from torture and ill-treatment, that also applies regardless of the illegal entry into China or the status of the person," according to the VOA report. Quintana and a group of other UN experts wrote to China's government in August, demanding details about allegations that 1,170 North Korean defectors were being held there and facing forced repatriation.

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