The Transitional Justice Working Group analyzed satellite imagery and collected 442 testimonies related to the executions of 23 people by firing squad or hanging in public places since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came to power in December 2011.
Of the 23 operations, 21 people were executed by firing squad, while the other two were hanged, according to the organization.
Seven of them were charged with distributing or viewing videos sourced from South Korea, which is strictly prohibited by the regime in Pyongyang.
And a report of the organization issued on Wednesday by Korean defectors quoted that the executions were carried out in closely monitored sites, and the authorities made every effort to prevent any information from leaking to the outside.
“In recent years, it appears that North Korea has strategically chosen locations far from the border areas to carry out these executions,” the rights group said.
“The monitoring of onlookers was tightened during these incidents to prevent the dissemination of information about public executions outside the country,” she added, citing the “wider international monitoring” of human rights violations in North Korea.
North Korea has long been accused of carrying out public executions in order to subdue the population by sowing terror, with Kim Jong-un executing several of his closest advisers, including his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who was the unofficial number two in North Korea in 2013.
North Korea denies these accusations, describing them as lies promoted by defectors, and affirms its respect for human rights.