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Date : February 20, 2014
ICNK Welcomes UN CoI Report, Calls for Action

For Immediate Release       
20 February, 2014


The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), an alliance of over 40 human rights groups from around the world, today welcomed the report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, which concludes that the North Korean regime is committing crimes against humanity, and calls for a case to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Since September 2011, ICNK has been calling for justice and accountability for North Korea, campaigned for the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry, and now calls on the international community to act upon the inquiry’s recommendations.

The Commission of Inquiry, established by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013, concludes that “unspeakable atrocities” continue to be perpetrated against the North Korean people. “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the Commission notes.

The Commission believes there are strong grounds for charges of crimes against humanity. “These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” it concludes.

Furthermore, the Commission believes that: “The unspeakable atrocities that are being committed against inmates of the kwanliso political prison camps resemble the horrors of camps that totalitarian States established during the twentieth century. The institutions and officials involved are not held accountable. Impunity reigns.”
The Commission called for immediate action by the international community which “must accept its responsibility to protect the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from crimes against humanity, because the Government of the DPRK has manifestly failed to do so.”

Responding to the Commission’s recommendations, ICNK intends to redouble its efforts to help bring an end to the suffering of the people of North Korea. ICNK believes that the Commission’s findings demand an immediate response by the UN Security Council, the International Criminal Court, and UN member states, and be strongly reflected in the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council resolution next month.

Eunkyoung Kwon, a spokesperson from the ICNK Secretariat, said:  “This report is a milestone in the international effort to bring freedom to the people of North Korea, and justice and accountability for a government that has indulged in cruel and grotesque treatment of its people. Now, it is time for the international community to act.”

For more information, please contact:

In Seoul: Eunkyoung Kwon, Open Radio for North Korea & Secretariat to the Coalition (Korean, English): +82-10-4508-8815 (mobile); or kekyoung@gmail.com

In Tokyo: Kanae Doi, Human Rights Watch (Japanese, English): 03-5282-5162; 090-2301-4372 (mobile); or doik@hrw.org

In London: Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (English): +44-7919-030575; or ben@csw.org.uk

In Bangkok: Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406 (mobile); or robertp@hrw.org

The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea is a joint effort of over 40 human rights groups worldwide that seeks to protect the human rights of North Koreans and to hold the Pyongyang government accountable for its abuses and violations of the human rights of the North Korean people.

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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