A prominent South Korean activist who was detained in China for 114 days for helping North Korean refugees there on Monday recounted his ordeal in the torture chambers there.
"I could smell my flesh burn as I was being tortured with a cattle prod in a State Security Agency facility in Dandong," Kim Young-hwan told the Chosun Ilbo in an exclusive interview. "They also threatened several times to send me to North Korea."
"Three state security agents checked my blood pressure and collected a blood sample on April 15 and then proceeded to torture me with a cattle prod from that evening until the early hours of the following morning," Kim said. "They put the cattle prod, wrapped with electrical coils, inside my clothes and placed it on my chest and back," he added. "It is hard to describe the pain I felt. It felt like being electrocuted continuously."
He said he was also beaten on the evening of April 15. "I suffered continuous blows to my face and they stopped only when my face turned red with blood," he added.
He said he was deprived of sleep from April 10 to 15. "They also made me stand from 7 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next day without giving me even a sip of water," he recalled. "When I was not allowed to sleep, they made me sit on a plastic stool for 40 to 50 hours at a time and that created tremendous pain in my lower body," he said. Three days after he was detained, Kim said he was forced to wear handcuffs and stand for 10 hours straight. "That left my hands paralyzed for more than a month," Kim said.
"China must apologize at least," he said. He plans to file a civil suit against China's State Security Agency or security officials in Dandong.