Tuesday, February 18, 2014

U.N. releases report on human rights abuses in North Korea

Publication by the United Nations of its report on human rights abuses in North Korea adds an important new ingredient to the role of information and the media in Korean reunification. The report documents what are called "unspeakable atrocities" by the government of North Korea against its own people.  Compiled by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, the report was compiled without cooperation of North Korea's government.  As reported in a UN news release, “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world. These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” the report says, adding that “Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place.”

The Commission of Inquiry conducted Public Hearings in Seoul (20-24 August 2013), Tokyo (29-30 August 2013), London (23 October 2013) and Washington, D.C. (30-31 October 2013) during which almost 80 victims and witnesses of human rights violations as well as experts provided testimony on the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  Complete transcripts and videos of the public hearings are available on the web site of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK.  The full report is downloadable here.

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