Arab Today, arab today camp 14 gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue
Last Updated : GMT 16:22:08
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

'Camp 14' gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 'Camp 14' gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue

Shin Dong-Hyuk
Seoul - AFP

A North Korean gulag survivor whose torture and daring escape was detailed in a best-selling book has admitted that parts of his story are untrue, and said on Sunday he may end his campaign against human rights abuses.
Shin Dong-Hyuk, believed to be the only person born in a North Korean prison camp ever to have escaped, apologised on his Facebook page Sunday, saying he had "forever wanted to conceal and hide part of my past".
Shin was born and spent the first 23 years of his life in a prison camp where, he recounted in the harrowing "Escape from Camp 14", he was tortured and subjected to forced labour before escaping in 2005.
Ever since Shin, now 32, has campaigned prominently to highlight rights abuses in the isolated North, testifying before a UN commission last year.
But Shin recently changed some of the details in his story, Blaine Harden, the book's author, said on his website.
"On Friday Jan. 16, I learned that Shin... had told friends an account of his life that differed substantially from my book," said Harden.
"I contacted Shin, pressing him to detail the changes and explain why he had misled me," Harden said.
Shin told Harden that that some of the ordeals had been "too painful" for him to revisit and he had "altered some details" that he had thought would not matter, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
Shin said he was "very sorry" in his Facebook posting.
"I... forever wanted to conceal and hide part of my past. We tell ourselves that it's okay to not reveal every little detail, and that it might not matter if certain parts aren't clarified," he said.
"To those who have supported me, trusted me and believed in me all this time, I am so very grateful and at the same time so very sorry to each and every single one of you," he said.
Shin did not elaborate in the post on which part of his past had been fabricated.
In Harden's book, Shin says he was brutally burned and tortured when aged 13, after a failed attempt to escape the camp.
But, according to the Washington Post report, Shin now admits the event took place when he was 20.
Shin also said in the book he saw his mother and brother executed after he betrayed them, telling authorities in Camp 14 of their plan to escape in hopes of getting food as reward.
But the report said Shin told Harden the executions actually took place when he and his family were in a different camp.
- 'His nightmare still stands' -
Lee Young-Hwan, a Seoul-based rights expert, described the changes as "minor innaccuracies" and said many refugees who suffered abuse show "selective memory" due to mental trauma or an instinct for self-preservation that takes root during their years of ordeal.
"The trauma sometimes lead them to say only things that can work in their favour, or have jumbled memories about the most painful experiences," said Lee, advisor to Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights.
"There may be minor inaccuracies in Shin's story, but his whole life and the nightmare he went through should still stand as evidence of history," Lee told AFP.
On Facebook, Shin said he "may not be able to continue" his years-long campaign against the North's regime, but urged his supporters to fight on.
"The world still needs to know of the horrendous and unspeakable horrors that are taking place," he said.
"These will be my final words and this will likely be my final post," he added, concluding: "Thank You".
Shin has been one of the most well-known campaigners against rights abuses committed in the North, where the Kim family rules its impoverished populace with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult.
The North has sought to discredit Shin as a fabulist and criminal, and aired last October a TV interview with his father who called Shin a "liar" and denied the family was even in a labour camp.
Shin argued his father must have been coerced into denouncing him, saying he felt "suicidal" with guilt over the punishment his remaining family may have faced after his escape.

arabstoday
arabstoday

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version

GMT 03:37 2017 Saturday ,08 April

Textbooks spell testing times
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today camp 14 gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue Arab Today, arab today camp 14 gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today camp 14 gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue Arab Today, arab today camp 14 gulag survivor admits parts of story untrue

 



Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today How to do your own Ramadan corner?

GMT 15:53 2017 Saturday ,27 May

How to do your own Ramadan corner?

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version

GMT 03:37 2017 Saturday ,08 April

Textbooks spell testing times
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday