A citizen of North Korea has reportedly been executed in public for violating emergency covid-19 quarantine measures in place in the country.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a citizen in North Korea was executed by firing squad, after the man was accused of smuggling with his Chinese business partners.
The report said the public execution was ordered in an effort to scare other citizens into strict compliance with the emergency quarantine measures in the country.
North Korea, which shares a border with China, has repeatedly claimed it is Covid-free but the government has implemented a number of severe lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, including a ban on travel between provinces.
“Since the end of November, the Central Committee [of the Korean Workers’ Party] have ratcheted up the existing emergency quarantine measures to ‘ultra-high-level’ emergency quarantine measures,” a resident of North Pyongan province, on the border with China in the country’s northwest, told RFA’s Korean Service this week.
“The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around 20 November. A man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example on 28 November,” the source added.
The source said they did not attend the public execution but discussed it with a witness, who said the shooting was moved away from the victim’s home county, near the border, to keep the news from seeping into China.
Citizens are growing increasingly scared of the control measures imposed by the government, a North Pyongan official told RFA.
“While guarding the border seamlessly from the ground, in the air, and at sea, authorities ordered soldiers to shoot anyone approaching the border unconditionally, regardless of who the person is or their reason for being in the area. It is an absolute threat to the border area residents,” the second source said.