SOUTH KOREA. RIGHTS PANEL TO LOOK INTO CASE OF NORTH KOREAN ON DEATH ROW
May 8, 2006: South Korea's state human rights panel said it will investigate the case of a North Korean citizen who is allegedly on death row in the communist country.
The decision was made in response to a petition filed by South Korean human rights activists in April. In the petition, the group claimed Son Jong-nam, a brother of Son Jong-hun who recently defected to South Korea, is facing public execution on charges of national treason. It is the first petition concerning North Korean human rights infringements that has been filed with the National Human Rights Commission, an independent human rights watchdog.
"Although we have yet to decide on what position to take about the human rights of North Koreans, we decided to look into the case because it is a matter of human life," a commission spokesperson said. (Sources: Yonhap via BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, 08/05/2006)