UN Watch Statement

Human Rights Council, 26th Session

ID with SR on DPRK

18 June 2014

Delivered by Yitian Zhang

 

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch commends the Special Rapporteur for his report on the systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations in the DPRK. We welcome its conclusions and recommendations

The report details shocking atrocities committed by DPRK against their people. The government uses surveillance, coercion, fear and punishment to preclude the expression of any dissent. It uses executions and enforced disappearances to political prison camps to terrorize the population into submission. Anyone in North Korea who is considered a threat to the political system and the leadership can become a target of these crimes against humanity.

We are gravely concerned with the virtual total travel ban where normal citizens are prevented from travel to foreign countries. Those who cross the border have to do so illegally. If arrested, they face torture, inhuman treatment or imprisonment. We urge North Korea to lift the ban, and to allow its citizens to travel freely.

We also request China to abide by international humanitarian law and not to forcibly repatriate citizens back to North Korea, due to the cruel consequences that await them.

Mr. President, UN Watch welcomes the establishment of an OHCHR office in South Korea to monitor the human rights situation in the North, meet with defectors and assist the victims.

We urge the United Nations to take urgent action by adopting the measures recommended by the Special Rapporteur and the Commission of Inquiry.

The leadership of North Korea must be held accountable. The report makes clear that all crimes are committed or sponsored by the state. The international community should not allow millions of innocent lives to be endangered by a small group of individuals who, over decades, have shown extreme contempt and disrespect for the human rights of their own citizens.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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