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UN rights expert urges probe of North Korea

UN Special Rapporteur on North Korea [official website] Marzuki Darusman has urged [text, PDF] the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly [official websites] to investigate human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. In a report released Tuesday, Darusman noted the accrual of 22 separate reports filed since 2003 documenting various violations of human rights, including torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearances, as well as violations of the rights to food, freedom of expression and movement. The special rapporteur stated that these violations, in conjunction with North Korea's lack of cooperation with the UN and other world organizations, necessitate the establishment of an inquiry mechanism with adequate resources to investigate and more fully document the "grave, systematic and widespread violations of human rights" in the North Korea.

In November Darusman expressed concern [JURIST report] over the lack of development in human rights, calling on the nation's new leader Kim Jong-un to remedy the matter. Last month Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] expressed similar sentiment, calling [JURIST report] on the UN to examine human rights abuses, particularly in light of the drop in individuals escaping into China and reports by successful escapees of increasing crackdown on escape attempts. Days later UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] condemned [JURIST report] North Korea's human rights record, calling on the international community to make efforts to improve the situation.

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