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Date : October 1, 2014
[HRNK Canada]The Victims of Crimes against Humanity Mourned

Toronto, Canada -  Some 130 people gathered on September 27, 2014 to mourn the victims of Crimes against Humanity("CAH") in North Korea in a commemorative event organized by the Council for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK Canada) to mark the 2nd annual Human Rights in North Korea Day ("HRNK Day").

The mourning ceremony was highlighted by a candle-lighting event which was followed by eulogies given by prominent Members of Parliament and other community leaders.  Guests also heard the painfully candid testimony of Jeong Kwang-il, a North Korean gulag survivor, on the horrendous atrocities he witnessed and endured in North Korea's interrogation facilities and in the political prison camp system. 

"Now that the UN COI officially confirmed that hundreds of thousands of innocents in North Korea are victims of CAH committed, and being committed, by the regime, holding a public mourning ceremony is very appropriate and the right thing to do," said Kyung B. Lee, President of HRNK Canada. "I hope that today's event here will ignite the conscience of people on a national scale and throughout the world," he added.

Among the participants in the Mourning were dignitaries such as former Senator Consiglio Di Nino, MP Barry Devolin, MP Chungsen Leung, MP Joe Daniel, Rev. Paul Johnson from Open Doors Canada, and leaders from Chinese, Tibetan and Vietnamese communities.

Before the evening's mourning ceremony, HRNK Canada held a special forum with the theme of "Human Dignity of North Koreans: Enslaved by dehumanization." Following three informative presentations, guests and human rights activists held discussions and agreed on a Call for Action.  The forum called on (1) the North Korean regime to shut down the gulag system, (2) the United Nations to bring the criminals, including Kim Jong-Un, to international justice, and (3) the Government of Canada to enact the "Human Rights in North Korea Act of Canada."

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, said in his statement, "I join with Canada's Korean community and human rights organizations in strongly condemning North Korea's unconscionable treatment of its citizens and in urging Pyongyang to live up to its international obligations. Until the people of North Korea can live in dignity and freedom, the Government of Canada will continue to speak out against North Korea's tyrannical regime."

Starting in 2013, the Government of Canada has commemorated September 28 as a day of recognition for those denied human rights in North Korea.

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