Covering an area as large as London and considered one of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s most brutal prison camps, a site designated as Camp No 22 saw a drastic reduction in its population prior to its closing last year – investigators fear as many as 22,000 inmates may have been left to die from disease and/or starvation.
The details are contained in a new report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). The group is now demanding a deeper inquiry.
At Camp No. 22, in North Hamyong Province, in the far north-east of the country, the prison population shrank dramatically in the months before its closure, probably in December 2012. Reports suggest that a severe food shortage meant that little was passed on to inmates and that numbers dwindled rapidly from 30,000 to 3,000.
Investigators believe it’s possible that up to 8,000 prisoners were transferred to other camps; however, there’s no evidence suggesting that any of the inmates were released. Numbers gleaned from multiple methods and sources leave approximately 22,000 individuals un-accounted for and feared dead from what’s considered to be one of the world’s harshest prison regimes.