World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


DPRK: United Nations must act on crimes against humanity

North Korea: UN Security Council must act on crimes against humanity

The United Nations Security Council must increase pressure on North Korea to address the horrific human rights situation in the country, Amnesty International said following publication of a damning UN report.

“The gruesome reality of life in North Korea is laid bare in the Commission’s comprehensive report. The gravity and nature of human rights violations are off the scale,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea – tasked with investigating grave, systemic and widespread human rights violations in the country – published its final report on Monday.

It found that crimes against humanity have been committed by North Korea, with people sent to political prison camps, tortured and sometimes executed without trial.

“The UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council should seize this opportunity and use their power and influence to ensure the North Korean government acts on the Commission’s findings, The people of North Korea deserve no less,” said Rife.

A referral by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court or the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal were two options outlined by the UN Commission to ensure those responsible for crimes against humanity are held to account.

“The international community cannot afford to sit idly by, as these incomprehensible crimes are perpetrated. The Commission’s findings reinforce the need for the UN Security Council to raise human rights alongside security and peace when it comes to North Korea,” said Rife.

The Commission urged North Korea to acknowledge that human rights violations are taking place including the vast network of political prison camps.

Other recommendations in the 372-page report included urging China and other governments to end the repatriation of individuals to North Korea.

Background

In December 2013, Amnesty International published satellite images showing the on-going development of two of North Korea’s largest political prison camps. The evidence was shared with the UN Commission of Inquiry.

Hundreds of thousands of people – including children – are detained in political prison camps and other detention facilities in North Korea.

Many of those have not committed any crime but are merely family members of those deemed guilty of serious political crimes. They are detained as a form of collective punishment, “guilt-by-association.”

Nearly a million North Koreans have starved to death since the 1990s. The country’s famines and food crises have been largely invisible because of political controls, including restrictions on the movement of both North Koreans and staff of international humanitarian agencies, and the near-total suppression of freedom of expression, information and association.

Voices from the Camps – Video Interviews available

The “Voices from the Camps” video features previously unseen interviews with four individuals who have escaped North Korea, and who testified before the inquiry.

A five minute news access tape of the interviews is available for download here, this includes an English subtitled version and a clean version. The people interviewed are:

The guard - former prison guard speaking exclusively to Amnesty about how officials would rape women from the camp and then kill them, and the methods for executing prisoners.

The “gossiper” - Kim Young Soon spent 9 years in Yodok prison camp along with her parents and children who all died there, for 'gossiping' about an affair her friend had with Kim Jong Il.

The army officer – Joo-Il Kim talking about mass starvation of the population including graphic detail of the end stage of a person starving to death.

The trafficked woman - Park Ji-hyun was sold to a Chinese farmer and was sent to a labour camp for trying to escape.

Satellite Images of Political Prison Camps

In December 2013, Amnesty International published satellite images showing the on-going development of two of North Korea’s largest political prison camps – kwanliso 15 and 16. The images and analysis were shared with the Commission of Inquiry. The satellite images can be downloaded here

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news