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HRW: North Korean Women Experience Extensive Sexual Harassment

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NEWS24.CO.ID -  Refugees and former North Korean officials expressed widespread sexual abuse in their country. But only five people were convicted of rape in 2015.

North Korean officials routinely harass and abuse women without any legal impact, said human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report released Thursday (1/11).

Sexual violence against women is so widespread that "it has been accepted as part of normal life," HRW said in a report.

"Sexual violence in North Korea is an open secret, not handled, and widely tolerated," said HRW executive director Kenneth Roth. "North Korean women may call for 'Me Too' if they have a way to get justice, but their voices are silenced under the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un."

The report was titled "You Cry at Night But Don't Know Why," based on interviews with 54 North Korean refugees and eight former North Korean officials.

Party officials, prison guards, police, market officials, prosecutors and soldiers routinely rape and other violations against women with total impunity (without punishment), HRW said.

North Korean women rarely report abuse and violence because of fear of retaliation or social stigma, and there are few ways to report it. Reporting sexual violence can even lead to greater retaliation, including beatings, detention and forced labor.
 

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