News / Asia

UN Rights Expert Recommends Probe of N. Korean Abuses

United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea, Marzuki Darusman delivers his report to the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, March 11, 2013.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea, Marzuki Darusman delivers his report to the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, March 11, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— A United Nations expert says North Korea’s abusive treatment of its population could amount to crimes against humanity. The U.N. special investigator on the human rights situation in North Korea is calling for an international probe into what he says are grave, systematic and widespread violations.

In his report, the U.N. special investigator, Marzuki Darusman, identifies nine patterns of human rights violations, ranging from torture and enslavement to enforced disappearances and murder.

He submitted a massive amount of documentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council, and says it shows a pattern of abuse that may amount to crimes against humanity.  

For example, he says up to 200,000 people are detained under slave-like conditions in a number of what he calls political concentration camps, collection centers and labor training camps.  He says whole families are punished and deported to these centers for the transgression of one individual.

“These are camps that have the purpose of driving the people being detained there toward a slow death by having them forcibly labor … and the dire conditions of the camps give a picture of the horrid conditions that prevail for the sole purpose of separating these people from the population at large,” Darusman said.   

The investigator cites torture and detention without due process of law as some of the most flagrant human rights violations.  He says the government violates peoples’ right to food by manipulating the amount they receive.  He says food is used as a means to control the population and make it dependent on the government.

Darusman says every July and August there is a state of famine in North Korea because the government distributes insufficient quantities of food.  He says the government relies on the international community to provide food to save its people from starvation.

The investigators says the government has passed new laws that punish slight misdemeanors very harshly.  For instance, a person who misses work can be imprisoned for two years.  

“That metes out punishment in a way that goes beyond the proportionate crime that it is intended to deter.  And, this gives you a picture of the regime becoming more and more rigid and harsh,” Darusman said.  

The North Korean representative rejected the report, saying it contains faked material about his country’s human rights situation.  He says the information was fabricated and invented by hostile forces and defectors who aim to sabotage his country’s socialist system.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid