UN Commission Report Details 'Unspeakable Atrocities' Committed in the DPRK
Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 02:36 PM EST
In a letter from the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights to the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea a summary of findings, including the "many instances" of systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations that "entail crimes against humanity," are detailed.
Commissioners state in the letter to Kim Jong-un that they recommend referral of the situation in the DPRK to the International Criminal Court "to render accountable all those, including possibly yourself, who may be responsible for the crimes against humanity referred to in this letter and in the Commission's report."
The UN report, released Monday, says a wide array of crimes against humanity have been committed and continue to take place, arising from "policies established at the highest level of State." It calls for urgent action by the international community to address the human rights situation in the country, including referral to the International Criminal Court.
The 400 page set of reports contains first-hand testimony from victims and witnesses and, the UN says, details "unspeakable atrocities" committed in the country.
"The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," the Commission's report says, "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."
Some of the evidence provided by victims and witnesses details treatment meted out to political prisoners, some who said they watched family members being murdered in prison camps.
"The fact that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea…has for decades pursued policies involving crimes that shock the conscience of humanity raises questions about the inadequacy of the response of the international community," the report stated. "The international community 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."
The Commission found that the DPRK "displays many attributes of a totalitarian State."
"There is an almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as of the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, information and association," the report said, adding "The key to the political system is the vast political and security apparatus that strategically uses surveillance, coercion, fear and punishment to preclude the expression of any dissent. Public executions and enforced disappearance to political prison camps serve as the ultimate means to terrorise the population into submission."
CLICK HERE for the report and supporting documentation