July 27, 2012 09:45
A prominent South Korean activist who was detained by Chinese authorities for 114 days reportedly suffered electrical torture during his three months in detention. Kim Young-hwan (49) was arrested in China in March and returned home last week.
"I heard that while Kim was exercising his right to remain silent during his captivity, he suffered various forms of torture by Chinese authorities, including torture with a cattle prod," said one close confidant of the activist. Chinese officers allegedly played loud music to drown out Kim's screams of pain.
Yoo Jae-kil, another activist who was arrested with Kim, did not deny the story but added, "It would be better to ask Kim directly." Kim told reporters on Wednesday that he suffered brutal treatment in captivity including "physical restraint and sleep deprivation." But he did not go into specifics.
Kim said the torture ended two months before his release and he was instead forced to do hard labor for 13 hours a day. The aim seems to have been to let the physical signs of torture heal.
When asked by the Chosun Ilbo during a telephone interview on Wednesday whether he had any wounds left from the torture, Kim responded, "There were at first, but now they are gone."
The Foreign Ministry here says it has raised the allegations several times with Chinese officials, but Beijing denied them. "We will try our best to confirm the account, and if it is found to be true, we will lodge a strong protest," a Foreign Ministry official said earlier.
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