Category: north korea

The Cutting Edge of Human Rights | Alex Gladstein | SingulartyU South Africa

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Human Rights Foundation –

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

HRF unites people in the common cause of defending human rights and promoting liberal democracy. Our mission is to ensure that freedom is both preserved and promoted around the world.

We focus our work on the founding ideals of the human rights movement, those most purely represented in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

We believe that all human beings are entitled to:

  • Freedom of Speech and Expression
  • Freedom of Self Determination
  • The Right to Equal Treatment and Due Process Under Law
  • Freedom From Slavery and Torture
  • Freedom of Association
  • The Right to Leave and Enter Their Countries
  • Freedom From Interference and Coercion in Matters of Conscience
  • The Right to Acquire and Dispose of Property
  • Freedom From Arbitrary Detainment or Exile
  • The Right to Worship in the Manner of Their Choice
  • The Right to Be Able to Participate in the Government of Their Country

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

‘Flash Drives for Freedom’: How smuggled western media could take down Kim Jong-un:

Balloons are one way to get information into the Hermit Kingdom, but Gladstein says the vast majority of the flash drives make their way to the Chinese border and then cross into North Korea through the flourishing black markets of the country’s underground economy.

The North Korean government has executed peoplefor possessing what it views as illicit, foreign content. But people are willing to pay a week’s wages for the USB drives on the black market.

According to Gladstein, defectors say that what they are seeing changes their lives.

“The majority of them have come into contact with foreign media, and they have displayed a huge interest,” Gladstein says. “The North Koreans who escaped have told us that this is transforming society.”

He says even in Pyongyang, where the regime is most controlling and has the most support, there are signs of change.

“Western reporters who are brought in to the capitol — into this highly choreographed, you know, sort of stage setting — even they can see little cracks.

"I mean, they can see people wearing jeans, they can see people speaking a little bit differently, wearing maybe South Korean haircuts [or] having jewelry or some sort of accent on them that shows a little bit of colour and individuality.”

“So even in the heart of the regime, you’re starting to see some change.”

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.