North Korea
A prisoner was executed in North Korea's correctional camp. In this representational image, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware parade in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambition in North Korea, April 15, 2017. GettyImages/ED JONES

A prisoner was executed by firing squad at a correctional labor camp in North Korea after he killed a prison guard, local news website Daily NK reported early Thursday.

The latest incident comes amid continuous criticism from the international community, denouncing North Korea’s human rights abuses.

According to a source based in North Hamgyong province in North Korea, the execution took place Jan. 10 at the Hoeryong Jongori correctional labor camp in Hoeryong county, North Korea in front of other inmates.

The prisoner was allegedly fed up with the cruelty inflicted upon him by the guard. He was under the influence of alcohol when he murdered the guard.

“The inmate drank alcohol he received as a New Year’s gift and used a rock to strike the head of a guard who had treated him cruelly. The inmate then stole the guard’s clothes and escaped through the facility’s front gate,” the unnamed source added. “The authorities immediately handed down an urgent arrest order."

A joint task force of provincial police, ministry of state Sscurity, and border patrol agents conducted an operation to arrest him. The inmate was apprehended on Jan. 6 near Undok County (formerly Kyongwon County in North Hamgyong Province), five days after escaping.”

Daily NK suggested a foul play in the way the matter was handled as North Korea’s criminal code stipulates that such cases have to go through several levels of investigation before a final judgment is announced. The process — which involves proper investigation, indictment, trials — leading up to an execution also requires a good amount of time, according to the report.

A 2012 reform of the North Korean criminal code (Section 418) states that “executions can only be carried out after receiving permission from the relevant authorities.”

However, in this case, the inmate was reportedly executed just four days after investigation began, suggesting he was denied due process of law.

The camp has previously been linked to excessive force being used towards inmates, making prisoners suffer from forced labor, brutality and violent acts. Its prisoners generally include people who tried to cross the border illegally and ended up being sentenced to forced labor.

Following international criticism, such executions were not being carried out publicly by the North Korean regime. But in this case, to thwart others from committing such crimes, the camp authorities executed the prisoner in front of other inmates, Daily NK reported.