23 August, 2013

United Nations Commission taking evidence from North Korean defectors

The New York Times reports on how defectors from North Korea are recounting their stories to a United Nations Commission.  

The three-member Commission of Inquiry was started by the United Nations Human Rights Council in March with a one-year mandate to investigate what the council called allegations of “systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights,” including possible crimes against humanity, by the North Korean authorities.

The three panel members are retired Australian judge Michael Kirby (Chairman), UN special rapporteur Marzuki Darusman and human rights activist Sonja Biserko.  The panel will examine reports of prison camps, torture and food deprivation, reporting back in March 2014, a UN statement said.

According to UN Human Rights Council resolution 22/13, among the violations to be investigated are those pertaining to the right to food, those associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, arbitrary detention, discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to life, freedom of movement, and enforced disappearances, including in the form of abductions of nationals of other States. 

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