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North Korea: Human Rights Watch Oral Statement to Extend the Special Rapporteur's Mandate

Interactive Dialogue with Marzuki Darusman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Mr. President, we would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his report on the DPRK and call for the extension of the mandate.

We are concerned the DPRK has both refused to acknowledge the mandate established by this Council and continuously failed to explicitly express whether it accepts any of the 117 recommendations made during the UPR process.  We encourage the Council to strongly condemn this stance which is contrary to the spirit of cooperation of this body. We urge the DPRK to immediately and positively respond to the Special Rapporteur's request to visit the country and to his communications.

The Special Rapporteur continues to play a critical role in highlighting the serious violations of basic human rights in the DPRK.  This report accurately decries the DPRK's lack of progress across the board in respecting human rights, with specific focus on freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of movement, use of torture and cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment, and use of the death penalty.   

The Special Rapporteur correctly focuses attention on the horrendous human rights violations taking place in DPRK detention facilities and prisons and vows to make this an important part of his continuing work.  Human Rights Watch supports this initiative by the Special Rapporteur.  

The Special Rapporteur advises the DPRK to immediately end public executions, cease punishing those who left the country without state permission, and comprehensively resolve the issue of foreign abductees.  

Mr. President, we would like to ask the Special Rapporteur what concrete steps the UN human rights mechanisms and specialized agencies should take to ensure member states recognize the principle of refugees sur place with regard to DPRK citizens fleeing their country, and in no cases commit refoulement of these persons? 

Mr. President, we urge the mandate of the Special Rapporteur be extended.  This mechanism reflects the grave concern of UN member states about human rights situation inside the DPRK, and serves as a crucial repository of information on the subject. 

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