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UN COI to Hold Public Hearings in UK and US
Date : October 18, 2013
GENEVA, 17 October 2013 – The United Nations-mandated commission investigating the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will begin next week a series of public hearings in the United Kingdom and the United States aimed at gathering information from witnesses on rights violations alleged to have occurred in the Asian nation. The three-member Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK will hold public hearings in London on 23 October to be followed by two days of similar hearings in Washington D.C. on 30 and 31 October. Those testifying before the UN panel will include individuals with first-hand accounts of conditions in the DPRK. The chairperson of the Commission, the Australian judge Michael Kirby, said the London and Washington D.C. hearings provide an important opportunity for witnesses to share information aimed at raising international awareness about the human rights situation in the DPRK, whose Government has so far declined access into the country to the Commissioners. “Although we do not have direct access to the DPRK, we are still able to gather vital information from individuals who have bravely come forwa…
How North Korea Gets Away With It
Date : October 7, 2013
How North Korea Gets Away With It The United Nations finally begins investigating Pyongyang's human-rights abuses. By BRUCE KLINGNER AND JARED GENSER Major Louis Renault was "shocked, shocked" to find gambling going on in "Casablanca," and so it is with United Nations investigators examining abuses of human rights in North Korea. An official U.N. Commission of Inquiry last month proclaimed "shocking" testimony of the Pyongyang regime's "widespread and serious violations" of its people's human rights. But which is more disturbing—the long-known details of Pyongyang's brutality, or that the U.N. only now got around to investigating it? Over the past several months, the U.N. inquiry has done an excellent job raising awareness of North Korean human-rights abuses through public hearings in Seoul and Tokyo. But already for years, North Korean refugees have been risking their lives to document Pyongyang's atrocities against its citizens. These include arbitrary imprisonment, torture, slave labor, rape, summary execution, forced abortion and medical experimentation. Three generations of a family can be dispatched to North Korea's vast gulag system for such "crimes" as c…
UN Human Rights Council: the Breakthrough in the Nuclear Crisis
Date : February 16, 2013
UN Human Rights Council: the Breakthrough in the Nuclear Crisis by Kim Tae Hun What is a true solution for North Korea after 20 years of negotiations on the issue of the North Korean nuclear program has failed because of the third nuclear test on the 12th? A true solution is to put practical efforts in to resolving the situation by putting the North Korean human rights issue on the agenda, which has been overshadowed by the nuclear issue for years. Nuclear development, which is a core tool used by the regime to maintain the dictatorship system, is connected directly with the deplorable human rights situation in North Korea. We need to be aware that the nature of the nuclear crisis caused by the North’s regime stems from the North Korean authorities’ anti-human rights policies. History teaches us that if North Korean human rights are recovered, a nuclear warhead, which has been developed with the North Korean people’s sacrifices and human rights abuses, would be just pieces of scrap metal similar to the Soviet’s missiles. The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into North Korea human rights abuses will be discussed at the 22nd UN Human Rights Council, which …
110 South Korean Intellectuals' Statement on UN COI
Date : February 5, 2013
On the 4th, 110 South Korean intellectuals and human rights activists presented a statement to the public that urges the South Korean government to support the establishment of UN COI into North Korea's crimes against humanity. They emphasized international society's public opinion by stating that Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, criticized North Korea's extreme human rights situation and called for the establishment of COI. They also reported on how British members of Parliament, international human rights organizations. and the Japanese government had urged and supported for the establishment of a COI. 110 intellectuals and human rights activists, who participated in the creation and signing of this statement, called for the South Korean government's active support for the COI so that it can be adopted at the UN Human Rights Council this coming March.
ICNK Urges the UN to Establish a COI
Date : January 24, 2013
Last Tuesday, the ICNK held a press conference entitled, "Make Pulic the UN Decision on Detention of Kang Cheol Hwan's and Shin Dong Hyuk's Family in North Korea," at the Press Center in Seoul. Last April, the ICNK submitted a petition to the UN that requested the release of Kang Mi-ho, Kim Jeong Nam and Shin Kyung Seop. The North Korean government sent a reply last September refusing to cooperate. On Tuesday, Kim Young Ho, Korea's human rights ambassador, said that we need to change the North Korean government's attitude through a UN Commission of Inquiry. Also, Jared Genser, the ICNK's pro bono counsel, explained the 3 implications of the establishment of a UN COI. The ICNK is increasing its attempts to persuade the UN to establish a COI in the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council general assembly meeting in March.
ICNK Delivered an Appeal Letter to UN Member States and Missions
Date : November 7, 2012
Last Thursday, ICNK delivered a letter to UN member states' foreign ministers and the UN missions of member states. The letter contains 179 defectors' signatures and an appeal that urges the recipients to establish a UN commission of inquiry to investigate the inhumane crimes happening in North Korea. Defectors insist that when the UN establishes a commission of inquiry, it can help oppress the North Korean regime.
ICNK Lobbying for UN Investigation into North Korean Gulags
Date : June 15, 2012
A delegation from the ICNK met with officials in Paris on Tuesday, June 12th to discuss the ICNK's activities, including their goal of establishing a Commission of Inquiry in the United Nations. The delegation have been on a week long tour through Europe raising awareness of North Korean Human Rights issues. In Paris they met with officials from the Elysee Palace, the Quai d'Orsay, and the Senate. "We are not seeking any kind of commitment, but we seek to educate French officials " , said Jared Genser. "We believe that it is the right time, obviously with the prospect of changing the composition of the Commission on Human Rights United Nations in March 2013 " , he adds. The ICNK is focusing its efforts on creating a Special Procedures inquiry into North Korean human rights abuses. Of special interest to the group is the issue of political prison camps - known as Kwanliso - which are used by the authorities to detain enemies of the regime. The ICNK believes the Special Procedures would help the regime recognize that improving human rights, especially the end of the kwanliso, is absolutely necessary before any normalization of relations between North Korea and the worl…
UN Working Group Declares Arbitrary Shin Detention
Date : May 29, 2012
On the 29th, ICNK Secretariat hosted a press conference to release the Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. It found that the detention of the Daughter of Tongyeong, Shin Sookk Ja, and her daughters has been and is arbitrary and that by detaining them North Korea is in violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This development marks a step closer to justice for Oh Kil Nam who has been fighting for his family's freedom for thirty years. It is not expected that North Korea will respond to this latest news however it sends an important message to the rest of the world that North Korea is under investigation.
North Reports Death of Shin Suk Ja
Date : May 9, 2012
"North Korea has alleged that Shin Suk Ja, the wife of Dr. Oh Gil Nam and subject of the ‘Daughter of Tongyeong’ campaign that made waves in South Korean society during 2011, is dead and that her daughters have no interest in meeting their father. The response was revealed by the secretariat of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), which has been leading the fight to save Shin, at a press conference in Seoul this afternoon." Source: Daily NK
North Korea Responds to UN: Claims Shin Suk Ja is Dead
Date : May 9, 2012
On April 27th, the North Korean authorities notified the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that Shin Suk Ja, wife of Dr. Oh Kil Nam, had died from hepatitis. The response, which was sent by DPRK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ri Jang Gon, is the first response from North Korea regarding the case of Dr. Oh. The response does not give an account or any evidence of Shin's death, raising suspicions that the response is a cover-up by the authorities. Dr. Oh called the claim a "typical lie" and refused to accept it without proof.
Interview with Shin Dong Hyuk
Date : April 26, 2012
A BBC Podcast interview with Shin Dong Hyuk to promote his newly released book, "Escape from Camp 14". He discusses growing up inside the camp, and the starvation that drove him to escape. He also talks about his life now, how he is still getting used to life outside the camp 6 years later, and learning what friendship is. From 24"00 - 31"19
Ending The Gulag System In North Korea: International Coalition Submits Petition...
Date : April 4, 2012
The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), consisting over 40 prominent human rights organizations and activists, today submitted a petition to the special procedures of the United Nation Human Rights Council calling for the UN to help shut down North Korea’s vast gulag system.Source: Free for All Blog
ICNK Looks to Future of UNHRC Challenge
Date : April 4, 2012
"... the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) today launched a new effort to bring pressure upon the authorities in Pyongyang to halt the perpetration of extreme human rights abuses against the North Korean people."Source: The Daily NK
Activist Groups Petition UN to Investigate North Korea Prison Camps
Date : April 4, 2012
"Human-rights groups are petitioning the United Nations to investigate suspected prison camps in North Korea. Activists say thousands of North Koreans have died from starvation and forced labor in the gulag-like facilities."Source: Voice of America
UN Urged to Investigate Prison Camps in North Korea
Date : April 5, 2012
"An international organization of more than 40 human rights groups around the world on Tuesday urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to address the issue of North Korean prison camps.The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea, or ICNK, submitted a petition to call on the U.N. to carry out an investigation and report on the gulags."Source: The Korea Herald