A U.S. watchdog on religious freedom urged China on Tuesday to stop repatriating refugees to North Korea, where it said returning asylum seekers are often tortured in an effort to suppress Christianity.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said in a 49-page report that North Korea employs stringent security measures to stop the spread of religion, especially Protestant Christianity, which has connections with past U.S. intervention and modern-day South Korea.
Some of the harshest treatment is inflicted on refugees sent back to North Korea from China, the commission said.
“The forcible repatriation of refugees from China remains an issue of special concern,” said its report on North Korea, titled “A Prison Without Bars.”
Read also U.S. congressional report finds abuse of returned North Korean refugees from AP.