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Camp 22 Escape from Tyranny

Camp 22 Escape from Tyranny

In the remote north eastern corner of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), close to the border with Russia and China, is the country’s largest concentration camp. Hidden in the mountains, just 20 kilometres outside the city of Hoeryŏng, lies Camp 22, a bestial, godless place. Larger in area than Auschwitz or Dachau, it holds over 50 000 political prisoners and their families, and for good reason it is called the "Killing Compound".


Concentration camps in North Korea came into being at the close of World War II. Anyone considered being “adversary classes” were rounded up and imprisoned in large labour camps, similar to the Russian gulags. Estimates of between 400 000 and 1 million political prisoners have perished in these camps since 1972. Termed kwan-li-so, political penal-labour colonies, may hold up to 200 000 men, women and children. So-called political offenders face life sentences without trial, for offences as trivial as failing to bow to portraits of the current “Great Leader”.

Camp 22 is the story of a Christian family arrested and detained in camp 22. A story of tragedy, brutality, and ultimately survival.

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