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H.Res. 109 (ih) Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that American families deserve tax relief. ...
H. Res. 109 In the House of Representatives, U.S., March 18, 2003. Whereas the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (in this preamble referred to as ``North Korea'') is, in the words of the United States Department of State, ``a dictatorship under the absolute rule of the Korean Workers' Party'' that ``prohibits freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and association . . . [and] restricts freedom of religion, citizens' movements, and worker rights''; Whereas according to the State Department, ``[t]he [North Korean] Penal Code is Draconian, stipulating capital punishment and confiscation of assets for a wide variety of `crimes against the revolution,' including defection, attempted defection, slander of the policies of the party or State, listening to foreign broadcasts, writing `reactionary' letters, and possessing reactionary printed matter''; Whereas, as noted in the State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the North Korean regime executes political prisoners, opponents of the regime, some repatriated defectors, some members of underground churches, and others, sometimes at public meetings attended by workers, students, and school children; Whereas the North Korean regime subjects all its citizens to systematic, intensive political and ideological indoctrination in support of the cult of personality glorifying Kim Jong Il and the late Kim Il Sung which, in the words of the State Department, ``approaches the level of a state religion''; Whereas the North Korean regime divides its population into categories, based on perceived loyalty to the Party and the leadership, which determine access to employment, higher education, place of residence, medical facilities, and other resources; Whereas the North Korean regime attempts to control all information, artistic expression, and academic works inside North Korea and strictly curtails freedom of speech; Whereas the Government of North Korea holds an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 political prisoners in camps that its State Security Agency manages through the use of forced labor, beatings, torture, and executions, and in which many prisoners also die from disease, starvation, and exposure; Whereas according to eyewitness testimony provided to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives by camp survivors, camp inmates have been used as sources of slave labor for the production of export goods, as targets for martial arts practice, and as experimental victims in the testing of chemical and biological poisons; Whereas according to eyewitness testimony provided to the Committee on International Relations by a camp survivor, female camp prisoners are not permitted to have children and their newborn babies are routinely and brutally killed by camp authorities; Whereas according to the State Department ``[g]enuine religious freedom does not exist'' in North Korea and, in the words of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, ``[t]he North Korean state severely represses public and private religious activities''; Whereas the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has highlighted ``reports that [North Korean] officials have arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and sometimes executed North Korean citizens who were found to have ties with overseas Christian evangelical groups operating across the border in China, as well as those who engaged in such unauthorized religious activities as public religious expression and persuasion''; Whereas according to eyewitness testimony provided to the Committee on International Relations in May 2002, a North Korean prison camp survivor witnessed a group of Christian prisoners being tortured to death in 1990 for refusing to repudiate their faith; Whereas more than 1,000,000 North Koreans are estimated to have died of starvation since 1995 because of the failure of the centralized agricultural system operated by the Government of North Korea; Whereas the risk of starvation and the threat of persecution in North Korea have caused many thousands of North Koreans to flee their homeland, primarily into the People's Republic of China; Whereas the Governments of the People's Republic of China and North Korea have been conducting aggressive campaigns to locate North Koreans who are in the People's Republic of China without permission and to forcibly return them to North Korea; Whereas North Koreans who seek asylum while in the People's Republic of China are routinely imprisoned and tortured, and in some cases killed, after they are returned to North Korea; and Whereas the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from March 17 to April 25, 2003: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) urges the Secretary of State to support efforts to draft, introduce, and pass a resolution addressing human rights abuses in North Korea at the 59th session the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; (2) urges all members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to support a resolution addressing human rights abuses in North Korea at the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; and (3) calls on the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to respect and protect the human rights of its citizens, such as those recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Attest: Clerk.
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