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Human rights violations in North Korea are systematic, says UN report

September 18, 2013, 12:11 UTC+3
Political prisoners report “unspeakable atrocities"
1 pages in this article
Photo  EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Photo EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

GENEVA, September 18 (Itar-Tass) – Gross violation of human rights in Democratic People's Republic of Korea is systemic; people who survived detainment camps for political prisoners report “unspeakable atrocities,” according to the United Nations-appointed commission investigating human rights violations in the country.

Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Michael Kirby, who presented the report, stories reported by witnesses are not isolated cases. "They are representative of large-scale patterns that may constitute systematic and gross human rights violations," Kirby said.

“Women and men who exercised their human right to leave the DPRK and were forcibly repatriated spoke about their experiences of torture, sexual violence, inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention. Family members of persons abducted from the Republic of Korea and Japan described the agony they endured ever since the enforced disappearance of their loved ones at the hands of agents of the DPRK,” the spokesman highlighted.

The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, created by the UN this March, was not granted access to North Korea itself. Instead, investigators interviewed DPRK citizens who fled to South Korea and Japan. For instance, detainment camp survivors reported that since childhood they had to deal with |deliberate starvation and unspeakable atrocities.” The Commission’s report explains that children are placed in these camps only because they’re family members of political prisoners. 

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