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Ear to the Ground

U.N. Condemns North Korean Torture Chambers, Prison Camps

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Posted on Feb 17, 2014

JoshSemans (CC BY 2.0)

U.N. investigators Monday released a catalog of massive human rights violations in North Korea that they say amount to crimes against humanity deserving attention by the International Criminal Court.

According to Reuters:

The 372-page report is the result of a year-long investigation marked by unprecedented public testimony by defectors at hearings held in South Korea, Japan, Britain and the United States.Kim Jong-un may be personally responsible for crimes against humanity, top U.N. investigator Michael Kirby said in a Jan. 20 letter to the North Korean leader that accompanies the report.

Here is an excerpt from the report selected by Reuters and taken from a section titled “Scope of Crimes”:

“Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its institutions and officials. In many instances, the violations of human rights found by the commission constitute crimes against humanity.”

The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the report said.

“A number of long-standing and ongoing patterns of systematic and widespread violations which were documented by the commission, meet the high threshold required for proof of crimes against humanity in international law. The perpetrators enjoy immunity.

“The key to the political system is the vast political and security apparatus that strategically uses surveillance, coercion, fear and punishment to preclude the expression of any dissent.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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