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Imagine being forced to drown your newborn child, begging to spare the infant got you brutally beaten, your hands shaking. This is just one of the many horrific scenes I witnessed inside Camp 22, one of North Korea’s most brutal and terrifying prisons. I was born there because my grandmother got in an argument with one of the Dear Leader Kim il-Sung’s distant relatives, and got thrown in prison for the crime of being “politically unreliable.” Kim Il-sung was the leader of North Korea from 1948 to 2000.  He was the first of the Kim Dynasty and first established the prisons as a place to keep his enemies. In 1953 his son Kim Jong-il was born. He became leader in 1994 until he died in 2011. My grandmother gave birth to my Dad in prison, then met my Mom and had me. Political crimes in North Korea, such as insulting a person in power, can earn you a brutal prison sentence, and a three-generation punishment, meaning that prisoners’ children and grandchildren are born and live their lives in prison camps.I was 3, when I was beaten to near-death with a club, for refusing to eat a boiled rotten cucumber, which is one of the revolting meals we were fed. An elderly woman who had stepped in to protect me was stripped and burned alive, with and audience of the whole camp. Many inmates, including myself, were so desperate for food, we caught and ate the rats and snakes that lurked on the cold grounds. The cells, which were designed for 14 people at max, were filled with up to 70 people at once. In the nights we were forced due to these conditions, to take turns sleeping, while others stood bone-wearily exhausted. The guards tortured us regularly, for example: they made us assume painful positions for long periods of time while they beat us when we moved or fell. Three of the worst were: 1) Bricks (demonstrate); 2) Handcuffed to wall (demonstrate); 3) Bird position (demonstrate) I had no knowledge of outside North Korea at the time and didn’t know of any God either. All we knew for sure, was that by then, Il’s son, Kim Jong-un, who was born in 1983, had become leader in 2011. He remains the leader of North Korea today and is even more evil than his dad and grandfather. He continues to starve his people to death and threatens the world with nuclear warfare.By February of 2015, I was 10 years old. As a 3rd generation prisoner, I was certain that I would be killed before my release. I had made plans to escape, but could not trust anyone to share this with. The risks were extreme, it would mean certain and painful death if I was caught. To me, I didn’t see any other choice. After witnessing 15 3rd generation prisoners executed by a firing squad, I put my plan into action. Before sunrise, I crawled underneath a fence, and hid underneath the executed dead bodies and faked that I was dead, It was unbearable. In the late morning, the guards came and loaded the dead bodies onto the wagon, then dumped them into the river. I managed to stay afloat, and take in enough breaths, to stay alive until the guards went away. I followed the creek for the next 2 days, until it it lead to the ocean.   I managed to steal a small row-boat and set off to the horizon. Two weeks later, on the verge of death, I washed up on the shores of Japan. The next week, I was very sick, and my memory is very cloudy. I was rescued by Japanese-Canadians, who were on vacation, and brought me back to Canada as a refugee. This is happening right now, other innocent people continue to be tortured and starved to death. I ask you, what can we do to help?  

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