Urgent Action Victory! – Forcibly Returned Woman No Longer at Risk (North Korea: UA 253.17)

Detained since 3 December 2017 in North Korea for leaving the country without legal permits, Koo Jeong-hwa’s family reports that she is no longer at risk of being sent to a political prison camp together with her 4-year-old son.

Koo Jeong-hwa is no longer at imminent risk of being sent to a political prison camp according to her husband who recently received reliable information about her situation. The Ministry of State Security was expected to make a decision on her sentence in March 2018, and fears were that she would be convicted without a fair trial and given a life sentence at a political prison camp.

Koo Jeong-hwa left North Korea with her son and eight other North Koreans in October 2017 and was detained on 4 November in China. Forcibly returned to Sinuiju, North Korea on 17 November, she and her son were detained there for two weeks, before being transferred to Hoeryeong City, where she lived before leaving North Korea.

Koo Jeong-hwa’s son was released twenty days after the transfer, and he is currently staying with his grandmother. Amnesty International does not have any information about the other eight North Koreans in the group.

Amnesty International has been in communication with Koo Jeong-hwa’s husband, who now lives in South Korea, and has asked that information about her whereabouts not be made public for now. He thanked Amnesty International supporters for taking acting action on his family’s behalf, and believed that it was helpful.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.