Tuesday, February 18, 2014

UN: N.Korea's abductions crime against humanity

The United Nations special commission on human rights issues in North Korea has condemned the abductions of Japanese and other nationals by the country. It called them crimes against humanity.

The commission released a report on North Korea's human rights situation in Geneva on Monday.

The report was compiled from public hearings by witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo and other cities. Officials from the commission said 240 confidential interviews were conducted with victims and other witnesses, including defectors from the North.

They suggest the abductions were not initiated by the North Korean military but sponsored by Pyongyang's leadership.

The report reveals more than 100 Japanese citizens are likely to have been abducted.

The officials said the abductees are deprived of the fundamental freedoms stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The report also notes political prisoners in camps suffer torture, rape and other forms of violence. It says public executions serve as means to terrorize the population into the submission.

It pointed out that no other country has committed such a wide range of crimes against humanity as North Korea.

The report urged the international community to quickly address the situation, including referring it to the International Criminal Court.