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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid