Only 5 Minutes from Public Trial to Execution

[imText1]Following the Hoiryeong public execution was known to the public last March, last June a public firing squad executed in Hamju, South Hamkyung province was publicized. It made people be astonished once again.

Unlike the last Hoiryeong public execution movie, this movie did not show the exact processes of the public execution. Yet, to be similar to the Hoiryeong movie, condemned criminals were sentenced to death and executed right after an open trial.

In a word, the open trial and the open firing squad process did not show any ‘laws to follow’. Absolutely, North Korea stipulates on Article 18 of its Constitution that, “All organizations, Giupsos (state owned enterprise), associations and public officers are obligatory to respect and strict compliance with laws”. Yet North Korea completely ignores a series of legal processes and procedures like shown in the public execution movies.

The two public execution movies verify that the anti-humane execution process and the terror reign of North Korea have been used to keep the current political system on.

The Legal base for the public execution is stipulated on the law of criminal procedure Chapter 7, Article 179 that, “In order to awake people and prevent crimes, trials shall be arranged and executed instantly as necessary”. Yet, there is no legal base for public execution.

Who compared it with ‘people’s revolution party incident’?

In the same Article, a stipulation that “people who are responsible for the accused behaviors or provide a cause should participate in the education camp to find out some lessons” has been used a powerful driving force to keep the Kim Jong Il regime by mobilizing residents including children by force.

In the same Chapter, Article 251 stipulates that, “As having an opposite opinion to the first trial result, the accused, lawyers and claimants for damages shall appeal to a higher court, and during the appeal suit the first trial result is not executed”.

Article 169 also stipulates that “As the suspected, the accused are accused of criminal responsibility, they shall choose lawyers and get protected”.

However, the public firing squad process of Yoo Bun Hee executed in Hamju shows that only 5 minutes after a trial, the accused was put to death without given an opportunity to appeal to a higher court.

Such trial process is much more inhumane than the ‘People’s Revolution Party incident’ of South Korea. In 1974, 8 of 23 accused criminals involved in the incident were sentenced to death on suspicion of violation on National Security Law in South Korea. However, they were put to death the next day. The South Korean left reformists were accused of overthrowing the established government by rebuilding the past People’s Revolution Party.

Defector Choi said that, “There is no appeal in North Korea,” and “Especially I have never seen the cases that the condemned criminals appeal to a higher court, and public trial and firing squad were also executed for people’s education.”

He also said that, “In the trial process, lawyers were at present, yet not defenses.”

Article 27 of Criminal Law revised in 2004 stipulates that the sorts of punishments are death penalty, unlimited labor, limited labor, labor training, deprivation of voting rights, confiscation, disqualification and suspension of qualification.

The only purpose of terror reign is to strengthen the internal control

In regards to ‘death penalty’, Article 29 stipulates that, “death penalty is executed in a way to deprive of physical life of criminals.”

In regards to legal application of death penalty, North Korean law stipulates that following Article 59 ‘National overthrow scheme’ is, Article 60 ‘Terror’ is, Article 67 ‘National treason’ is, Article 278 ‘Intentional murder’ is sentenced to ‘unlimited labor, death penalty or confiscation’.

Yoo stole 10kg of corn in the kitchen of the neighborhood whom she had known, beaten their second daughter to death and sold the corn at 3,500 won ($1.17). So she was accused by the police in November 11, 2005.

If the criminal law is applied to the crimes, on ‘intentional murder’ Article 278 Chapter 9 of North Korean Constitution she could be sentenced to 10 years labor, yet she was to death. It can be inferred that the death penalty was overly applied to strengthen the internal control.

The Article stipulates that, “People who committed intentional murder out of nasty motives such as greed and jealousy are sentenced to more than 10 years of labor. People who committed serious crimes are sentenced to unlimited labor or death penalty.”

In the public trial and firing squad, the North Korean government completely ignores the rights and procedure of criminals obviously stipulated in criminal law and law of criminal procedure. Sentence is severely high and unrelated to law. Thus the North Korean public trials and firing squads are not law enforcements, but cruel acts to reinforce it internal control with fear.

In the meantime, Article 4 of the law of criminal procedure stipulates ‘Nation secures human rights in the processes of criminal procedures’. However, it is not applied to people.