Kim Young Hwan’s case continues to gain momentum as he plans to undergo a medical evaluation to assess his physical condition after 114 days of detainment in China. The South Korean human rights activist, who was allegedly tortured by Chinese security authorities, told Yonhap news yesterday that although there does not appear to be external scarring, he is going to seek thorough assessment stating, “I plan to get a medical check-up.”
Physical evidence of torture could potentially help Kim if he decides to take his case to the United Nations or pursue other legal action against China.
Since his release from China, Kim has been very vocal about his treatment while in prison. He was arrested for taking part in what Chinese authorities deemed as illegal activities involving his North Korean human rights work and charged with “endangering national security.” He has recounted in numerous interviews and public statements the abuse followed.
According to Kim, the torture that he was subjected to during the earlier months of his detainment included sleep deprivation for up to six days, beatings and electrocution by a cattle prod.
After Kim came forward with his accusations, other South Korean activists have begun to speak up about their own experiences while imprisoned in China. This has led some to suggest that mistreatment may be common practice. Currently 625 South Koreans are being detained in China, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and as accusations of torture begin to mount, concern for safety these citizens grows, as does the pressure on the South Korean government to seek justice and confront China for its wrongdoings.
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