The European Parliament yesterday heaped fresh pressure on the Chinese government by passing a broad resolution condemning the treatment of both North Korean refugees and four human rights activists including NKnet researcher Kim Young Hwan by the country's security forces.
In the provisional text of the resolution, the EU harshly criticizes China's attitude toward refugees, people who it says are “at great risk of abuse and even execution.” As such, it urges Beijing to begin treating North Koreans as refugees rather than illegal border crossers and allow the UNHCR to help them in situ, and to annul a 1986 agreement with North Korea on their repatriation.
One particular point of interest is the reference in the resolution to the ongoing detention of Kim Young Hwan by the Liaoning Province branch of Chinese state intelligence.
According to the provisional text, it is “deeply regrettable” that Kim Young Hwan and three activists alongside whom he was arrested have been detained and reportedly charged with violating Chinese national security.
It therefore urges the Chinese authorities to “grant full consular access to the South Korean authorities, and legal representation to the four detained activists, and to release them swiftly.”
Full text of the resolution is available here