The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), a Seoul-based research group, said that North Korea has tried to stop news of its public executions from leaking outside the country in recent years.
“Our findings suggest that the Kim Jong Un regime is paying more attention to human rights issues as a response to increased international scrutiny,” TJWG said in its report released on Wednesday.
“North Korea appears to be strategically selecting places away from the border area to carry out these killings,” TJWG added.
TJWG analyzed satellite imagery and collected testimonies of 23 public executions during the era of Kim Jong Un since 2011.
“Interviewees often stated that the rules on public execution demand that three shooters fire a total of nine bullets into the body of the condemned person,” the report said, adding that families had to watch the execution.
Accounts collected in the report confirmed that authorities would closely monitor the sites during the execution so that no information gets relayed by escapees.
At least seven people have been publicly executed in North Korea for watching or distributing South Korean media, including K-Pop videos banned by Pyongyang.
On Thursday, Human Rights Watch accused Kim of “isolating the country more than ever” through “unnecessary and extreme measures”.
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