human rights violations, most absurd human rights violations

The Most Absurd Human Rights Violations (116): Gendered Bicycle Policy in North Korea

North Koreans ride bicycles past a propaganda poster in Kaesong, North Korea Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Kaesong, which sits just north of the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea and South Korea, was the ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty for 500 years until 1392. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

North Koreans ride bicycles past a propaganda poster in Kaesong, North Korea Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Kaesong, which sits just north of the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea and South Korea, was the ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty for 500 years until 1392. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

(source)

It’s now illegal (again) for women to ride bicycles in North Korea. The country’s leader Kim Jung Un reinstated his father’s absurd law, but only after he lifted the ban last year.

The late Kim Jong Il decreed in the mid-90s no woman should ride a bike after the daughter of a top general, the vice-chair of the National Defense Commission, was killed riding a bike in Pyongyang. (source)

Hardly the worst North Korean rights violation, but absurd enough. And part of a mindset. Transportation restrictions have always been popular in totalitarian regimes. They prevent people from socializing, forming groups and realizing that they’re not the only ones living in misery. They also help to impoverish people, focusing their attention on their own individual survival and away from politics.

More about the Koreas. More absurd human rights violations.

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