|NKHR Welcomes COI Report Affirming Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea and Supports the Recommendations for Legal Action|
Monday, February 17, 2014
NKHR Welcomes COI Report Affirming Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea and Supports the Recommendations for Legal Action
SEOUL - Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Rights commends the findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in North Korea. The report, released today after a yearlong investigation, shows the world an indelible picture of the dire situation of human rights in North Korea.
The commission’s findings affirm NKHR’s own conclusions based on nearly two decades of research and work with defectors. Notably, the commission found evidence of crimes against humanity in each of the nine categories it investigated: 1) violations of the right to food; 2) violations associated with prison camps; 3) torture and inhuman treatment; 4) arbitrary detention; 5) discrimination; 6) violations of freedom of expression; 7) violations of the right to life; 8) violations of the right to movement; and 9) enforced disappearances, including the abductions of nationals of other states.
NKHR, in 2003, was the first NGO to take North Korean human rights issues to the United Nations. In a recent side meeting at the UN in Geneva, Julie de Rivero of Human Rights Watch noted to the room, “It is Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights that mobilized Human Rights Watch to pay attention to the situation and really mobilized the UN to respond.”
In December 2012, NKHR and Human Rights Watch organized a meeting between UN human rights chief Navi Pillay and two victims of North Korea’s political prison camps, Shin Dong-hyuk and Kim Hye-sook. It was the first meeting of its kind, and less than a month later, Pillay released the critical statement calling for the creation of an UN investigative body for North Korean human rights.
We must work to ensure that the COI’s findings are utilized and that charges are taken to an international justice system. The North Korean government must be held accountable for crimes against its citizens.
First and foremost, the North Korean government must respond and address the allegations made in the report. Additionally, we call for the international community to pursue justice for the crimes committed against the North Korean people.
Finally, NKHR calls for the South Korean government to allow for the creation of a special structure that will continue the collection of evidence that would have its field presence in South Korea and not be hostage to silence and regional politics. The South Korean government must respond fully and uncompromisingly to the allegations of crimes against humanity in the COI report.
For information on NKHR’s work, please write firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +82-2-723-1672.
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