PYONGYANG, North Korea (CNN) – While the world has seen tragedy in a number of instances in the past, officials say a massive investigation into human rights violations revealed shocking details in today’s society.
The United Nations conducted an investigation that detailed the horrific human rights abuses in North Korea.
A former prisoner drew images of skeletal, starving people who were lucky to eat snakes and rats to survive.
Other drawings included emaciated human remains that were left for rats to eat as detainees were tortured and abused.
It’s all part of a disturbing report by the United Nations.
According to CNN, the North Korean prison camps have survived twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and even longer than the Nazi concentration camps.
The UN Commission of Inquiry interviewed hundreds of former prisoners and other witnesses.
One survivor told a story of a starving woman who gave birth in camp.
A prison official reportedly heard the baby’s cries and repeatedly beat the mother, eventually forcing her to drown the child.
Jee Heon, a survivor, said, “The mother, with her shaking hands, she picked up the baby and she put the baby face down in the water.”
Nicholas Eberstadt, with the American Enterprise Institute, said, “There’s no other place on Earth today that has the level of human rights abuse that North Korea has.”
In the four large prison cams, housing more than 100,000 people, systematic starvation, torture, rape and execution were commonplace.
Witnesses told the UN of grotesque methods of killing inmates.
Officials say guards would force them to dig their own graves before hitting them in the head with a hammer.
An anonymous former prison official said another method was to have an inmate come to an office and sit down.
Two people would then be waiting with a rubber rope.
He said, “If you strike someone with it, it will wrap around their neck. Then you kill them by pulling the rope.”
North Korean defector, Kwon Young Hee, who testified for the UN told CNN how guards presumably killed her brother.
Hee said, “They tied him to a truck and dragged him for 45-kilometers. When he fell down, they kept on driving.”
American Kenneth Bae is believed to be held in one of those camps.
Judge Michael Kirby, with the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in N. Korea, reported, “Too many times in this building there are reports and no action. This is a time for action.”