Myeong-Chul Ahn, born in North Hamgyong Province in North Korea, was selected as a teenager to serve as a prison camp guard. He did this for 8 years, brainwashed into believing political prisoners were enemies of the state.
While on leave in 1994, Myeong-Chul learned of his father’s suicide after questioning the regime’s rationing system. Consequently, Myeong-Chul’s mother and siblings were imprisoned for his father’s offences. Fearing the authorities would come for him, he fled to China and eventually reached safety in South Korea.
Since escaping from the North Korean regime, Myeong-Chul has become a North Korean human rights activist and this week he told his story in Parliament House as part of the second North Korean Human Rights Week in Australia.