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Freedom House to Cosponsor Reception Celebrating North Korea Freedom Week
On Thursday, April 27, 2006, Freedom House will co-host a reception to welcome participants of North Korea Freedom Week and acknowledge the contributions US Congressional leaders, visiting Japanese Parliamentarians, and NGO leaders from the US, Japan, and South Korea have made to the issue of human rights in North Korea.
Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) will co-host the reception, which will be held at 5:30 pm in the Rayburn House Office Building Cafeteria. Speakers include Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director of Freedom House; both cosponsoring members of Congress; Shu Watanabe of the Democratic Party of Japan; and Suzanne Scholte from the North Korea Freedom Coalition.
"While the appalling human rights abuses occurring in North Korea have not yet been fully recognized by most of the world, there are a number of individuals and NGOs who have doggedly focused on the issue and deserve our recognition," said Ms. Windsor. "It is vital, however, that we continue to raise international awareness of the horrifying conditions under which most North Koreans live," she added.
Last May, Freedom House launched a year-long international campaign to bring the human rights abuses occurring in North Korea to the attention of concerned citizens, governments and non-governmental organizations worldwide. Activities have included a trio of conferences in Washington, DC, Brussels, and Seoul; a US university tour for North Korean defector and noted author Kang Cheol Hwan, who also met with number of government and NGO leaders; and support to a grassroots advocacy group that hosts North Korean awareness events and initiatives throughout the world.
Last week, Freedom House sent a letter to President Bush urging him to raise the issue of China's treatment of North Korean refugees when meeting with Chinese President Hu.
North Korea Freedom Week, occurring this week, draws thousands of activists from around the world to highlight the brutality of the North Korean regime, where human rights abuses include torture, arbitrary execution, and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in political gulags. Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties in countries around the world, has given North Korea the lowest possible score in both categories since the publication began in 1972.
Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.