Human rights: UN expert on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to visit Tokyo

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GENEVA / TOKYO (3 April 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, will visit Tokyo on 8-10 April as an immediate follow-up to the work of the Commission of Inquiry on DPRK. 

“The findings of the Commission of Inquiry have left no doubt that the dire human rights situation in DPRK is not only a national or regional problem, but a matter of international significance that demands a concerted response by all concerned,” said Mr. Darusman, who also served in the three-member Commission that presented its landmark report* to the Human Rights Council last month. 

“The Commission has found that the State’s violence has been externalized through State-sponsored abductions and enforced disappearances of people from other nations, including Japan. These international enforced disappearances are unique in their intensity, scale and nature,” he added. 

Among its far-reaching recommendations, the Commission called on the Special Rapporteur on DPRK to develop a strategy to urgently address the issue of international abductions, enforced disappearances and related matters. 

“This is my first visit to Japan since the completion of the Commission’s work. I trust that the gravity of its findings and the clarity it has given to the issue of international abductions and enforced disappearances will give us a renewed sense of purpose,” Mr. Darusman said. 

During his visit to Japan, the human rights expert is scheduled to meet with the Foreign Minister, the Minister for abduction issues, families of victims, civil society and other parties. 

Since his appointment in 2010, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit DPRK. However, access has so far not been granted. 

At the end of his visit, the UN human rights expert will hold a press conference at 14:00 local time on Thursday, 10 April 2014, at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. 

(*) Check the Commission of Inquiry’s report: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIDPRK/Pages/CommissionInquiryonHRinDPRK.aspx