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NKHR and Indonesian human rights groups condemn “peace, justice, and humanity” award to Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un
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2015-08-26 21:32:49
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NKHR and Indonesian human rights groups condemn “peace, justice, and humanity” award to Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un

 

7th August 2015

 

We, the undersigned, condemn the decision of the Soekarno Education Foundation of Indonesia to award Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK), its Soekarno Award celebrating “peace, justice and humanity.”

 

As the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea reported in 2014, the DPRK, its institutions and officials committed and continue to commit systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations constituting crimes against humanity. Those crimes include the monopolization of access to food resulting in prolonged starvation; public executions and enforced disappearance to political prison camps; state-sponsored abductions and enforced disappearances of people from other nations, including South Korea; among others. The Commission of Inquiry ultimately recommended that the North Korean leadership be referred to the International Criminal Court. Indonesian human rights expert and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, Marzuki Darusman, was one of the three commissioners appointed to the Commission. The international community responded to the Commission’s report by voting overwhelmingly in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights violations and international crimes and calling for legal accountability. Among the many who voted in favor of the resolution were numerous African and Latin American countries, illustrating that criticism of North Korea’s human rights violations is not merely “Western propaganda” as Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of President Soekarno and head of the Soekarno Education Foundation, asserted in defense of her organization’s decision to award the North Korean dictator.

 

We strongly believe that the decision to award Kim Jong Un such an accolade, handed in the past to icons such as Mahatma Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi, is not only a gross mischaracterization of a leader whose numerous human rights abuses are well-documented, but is also deeply offensive to the victims of these crimes. They must suffer the indignity of seeing Kim Jong Un celebrated by the daughter of President Soekarno and head of the Soekarno Education Foundation and commended for “peace, justice, and humanity.” Giving Kim Jong Un this award will further encourage violations and prolong the suffering of the North Korean people rather than improve conditions in the country.

 

We, thus strongly urge the Soekarno Education Foundation of Indonesia to withdraw its decision to award Kim Jong Un its statesmanship award and appeal to the foundation to support the citizens of North Korea by advocating for the North Korean leadership to respect universal human rights.

 

Sincerely,

 

Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, South Korea

Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS), Indonesia

Imparsial, The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, Indonesia

ELSAM, The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, Indonesia