Petitions calling for Xi Jinping to end China’s violent repatriation policy were sent to the Embassy of China on Tuesday, International Human Rights Day.
The policy has led to the torture, imprisonment, and deaths of thousands of North Korean citizens and humanitarian workers, according to the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC).
"It is fitting that these petitions are submitted on Human Rights Day, the day we recognize the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said NKFC chairman Suzanne Scholte. "North Korea is the only country in the world denied every single one of these universally recognized human rights, which is why so many try to escape. This problem will only continue under the brutal dictatorship of Kim Jong Eun."
More than 8,000 people, representing 28 nations signed the petition. They request that Xi provides the refugees access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.