Following a thorough examination of North Korea human rights activist and former detainee Kim Young Hwan, Seoul National University hospital officials stated yesterday that they could find no concrete evidence of torture.
Kim admitted himself in the hope of revealing evidence that could help in his case against the Chinese authorities. Kim claims that he was tortured in April, the first month of a 114-day spell in the charge of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).
The dermatologists and plastic surgeons that examined Kim for physical signs of the torture, which allegedly involved beatings and electric shocks delivered with a cattle prod, reportedly “couldn’t find visible symptoms, as time has passed.” Minor facial damage revealed in an MRI scan is thought to be too circumstantial to be of any use.
These latest results may hamper Kim and his supporters’ efforts to legally challenge the actions of the MSS. These efforts have so far included appeals to the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.