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Brownback, Lantos Join Forces across Aisle as International Group Seeks Prisoner Release in North Korea

Son Jong Nam Awaits Public Execution for Faith; VOM Mounts Campaign

Contact: Alex Coffin, 704-364-2049, 

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- International inspectors report that North Korea has shut down a key nuclear reactor, but religious and human rights organizations and leading elected officials continue to exhort the world to press the North Koreans to show progress toward religious liberty.

Photo: Son Jong Nam, April 2004, Yeongil, China.

The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), an international organization that assists Christians persecuted for their faith, recently launched a worldwide campaign to free Son Jong Nam, who is awaiting public execution in North Korea simply because of his faith. He is one of thousands jailed and facing death in North Korea and other countries around the world.

VOM was been joined in the initiative by presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a noted supporter of human rights for North Korean refugees, and U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), a longtime supporter for human rights, and other congressional leaders. 

Sen. Brownback, Rep. Lantos, as well as Todd Nettleton of VOM are available for interviews and talk show appearances to provide updates on the North Korea situation and Mr. Son's status.

Sen. Brownback has written U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the issue, while Lantos has written North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and Ban.

VOM is calling on people in the United States and around the world to go to www.prisoneralert.com to write letters and send emails on Son Jong Nam's behalf to North Korean officials, the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State and their elected officials. 

"All religions have been harshly repressed in North Korea," said Nettleton.  "Thousands of Christians have been murdered since the Korean War.  Those who practice their faith must do so in deep secrecy and face constant danger."

Sen. Brownback was first elected to the Senate in 1996 to fill the seat held by Bob Dole.  He co-chairs the Senate Human Rights Caucus and is the author of the North Korean Refugee Relief Act.

Rep. Lantos, born in Budapest, Hungary, and the only survivor of the Holocaust ever elected to Congress, has represented the San Francisco area since 1981. A leader for human rights in the House of Representatives, he is chairman of the House Committee on Human Affairs. He is co-founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and is its co-chair.

To interview Sen. Brownback or Rep. Lantos and Mr. Nettleton on this issue, contact Alex Coffin at 704-364-2049 or ACoffin@InChristCommunications.com.

For a complete press kit, including copies of Brownback and Lantos letters, go to www.persecution.com/media.