19 February, 2014

North Korea ~ The Hidden Gulag

Update 7th July 2015 - Public executions in North Korea since 2000

Update 21st January 2015 - UN dismisses North Koera's claim that damning human rights report is invalid - The Guardian.

Original post:

On 21 March 2013, at its 22nd session, the United Nations Human Rights Council  established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Resolution A/HRC/RES/22/13 mandated the body  to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.

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.  Read more about the Commission... 

The Commission's report and supporting documentation is HERE.

Although North Korea has been referred to as The Hidden Gulag the world has no excuse any longer to claim lack of knowledge of the North Korean situation of today.

The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea did not co-operate with the Commission's investigation.  The Commission shared its findings with the North Korean government.

Other Links:

Wikipedia - North Korea - Political Prison Camps

International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea

The Hidden Gulag

28 January, 2014

The International Criminal Tribunals

Former Yugoslavia:

In May 2012, I blogged about the Ratko Mladic trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) - Ratko Mladić - Trial at the ICTY   His trial commenced on 16th May 2012 and updates on the trial are available via the ICTY website - Mladic.  Judgment in his case is expected in November 2017.

The other particularly notable trial, again still on-going, is that of  Radovan Karadzic - see ICTY Karadzic  - his trial commenced on 26 October 2009.  His trial has concluded and judgment is expected in the first quarter of 2016.

It is reported that Mladic refused to testify for the defence in Karadzic's trial - The Guardian 28th January 2014.   "Karadzic had a list of six questions he wanted to ask of Mladic, focusing on the general's knowledge of the Srebrenica massacre and the Serb siege of the capital Sarajevo, and how much of that information he had passed to Karadzic.  Karadzic was expected to argue that the two had no common plan and that he was unaware of his most senior general's activities, and so could not be held personally responsible for the worst bloodshed in Europe since the second world war.  Mladic gave the same response in answer to each question: "I cannot and do not wish to testify ... because it would impair my health and prejudice my own case," he said, offering instead to read a seven-page statement he said he had written the previous evening – an offer the judges refused.  Proceedings were complete after less than two hours and Mladic was led out, exchanging nods with Karadzic."

The ICTY's website pages on 20 Years of International Justice are particularly interesting. 

For lawyers,