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Date : January 23, 2013
ICNK Urges Human Rights Council to Create COI

The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea
Urges Human Rights Council to Create Inquiry into Mass Atrocity Crimes

Seoul, South Korea
Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, called for “a full-fledged international inquiry into serious crimes” that have been taking place in North Korea for decades.  Referencing the gulag system, Pillay said it  “represents the very antithesis of international human rights norms . . . The highly developed system of international human rights protection that has had at least some positive impact in almost every country in the world, seems to have completely bypassed [North Korea].” 
The High Commissioner also stated that “there is an urgent need to clarify the fate of the many South Koreans and Japanese, abducted by DPRK over the years, as well as the countless civilians in the South rounded up and taken to the North during the Korean War, and to seek truth, justice and redress for their long-suffering families.”
The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), consisting of over 40 prominent human rights organizations and activists, strongly supports Ms. Pillay’s call for action. ICNK calls on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an international Commission of Inquiry at its upcoming regular session in March 2013 when the North Korean situation will be discussed. Such a Commission should investigate systematic and grave violations committed by the North Korean government. The call for the establishment of an investigative mechanism has also been supported by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the North Korea, Marzuki Darusman, in a report presented to the UN General Assembly in 2012.
ICNK also welcomes the opinion made public today of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding the cases of the family members of prominent North Korean defectors Kang Chol-hwan and Shin Dong-hyuk, urging their immediate release.  This opinion and the prior one regarding the family members of South Korean Oh Kil-nam also imprisoned in North Korea, only reinforce the need for urgent action by the international community.
ICNK urges UN member states to include a provision in the forthcoming annual resolution on the DPRK in the Human Rights Council creating an independent Commission of Inquiry on the DPRK as recommended by Ms. Pillay.
For comment from ICNK members:
Seoul: Eunkyoung Kwon, Open Radio North Korea & Secretariat to the Coalition (Korean,
English): +82-17-508-8815; or kekyoung@gmail.com
Tokyo: Kanae Doi, Human Rights Watch (Japanese, English): 03-5282-5162;
090-2301-4372 (mobile); or doik@hrw.org
London: Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (English): +44-7919-
030575; or ben@csw.org.uk
Bangkok: Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406
(mobile); or robertp@hrw.org
Paris: Arthur Manet/Karine Appy, International Federation for Human Rights
(French, English, Spanish, Portuguese) + 33-6-7228-4294; +33-6-4805-9157
For comment on UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention opinion on families of Kang Chol-hwan and Shin Dong-hyuk:
Washington, D.C.: Jared Genser, international pro bono counsel to ICNK (English): +1.202.466.3069; or jgenser@perseus-strategies.com
Members and supporters of the Coalition include:
Advocates International Global Council
Amnesty International
Asia Justice and Rights
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
Asian Human Rights & Humanity Association of Japan
Burma Partnership (Thailand)
Christian Lawyers Association for Paraguay
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (USA)
Conectas (Brazil)
Council for Human Rights in North Korea (Canada)
Freedom House (USA)
Free NK Gulag (ROK)
Free North Korea Radio (ROK)
Han Voice (Canada)
HH Katacombs (ROK)
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Without Frontiers (Belgium)
Inter-American Federation of Christian Lawyers
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
COMJAN (Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably
Related to North Korea)(Japan)
Japanese Lawyers Association for Abduction and Other Human
Rights Issues in North Korea
Jubilee Campaign (USA)
Justice for North Korea (ROK)
Kontras (Indonesia)
Liberty in North Korea - LiNK (USA)
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (Japan)
Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (ROK)
NK Intellectual Solidarity (ROK)
No Fence (Japan)
North Korea Freedom Coalition
Odhikar (Bangladesh)
Open North Korea (ROK)
People In Need (Czech Republic)
PSALT NK (Prayer Service Action Love Truth for North Korea)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (USA)
The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea (Japan)
Students Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (ROK)
World Without Genocide (USA)
Young Defectors' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (ROK)
Yuki Akimoto, Burmainfo (Japan)
Tomoharu Ebihara
David Hawk, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and author of Hidden Gulag
Ken Kato, Director, Human Rights in Asia (Japan)
Tomoyuki Kawazoe, Representative, Kanagawa Association for The
Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea / Member,
Reporters Without Borders
Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Recipient & Defense Forum Foundation (USA)
Dr. Norbert Vollertsen

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