Wednesday, December 09, 2009

UN Human Rights Council condemns North Korea

The North Korean delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) attempted to defend North Korea's human rights record during a three-hour session. A “Universal Periodic Review” took place in Geneva, with the majority of the 47-nation council accusing the communist state of widespread rights abuses such as forced child labor, public executions and torture and criticized the lack of transparency about human rights conditions.

North Korean Ambassador Ri Tcheul denied allegations of torture, and claimed that serious malnutrition is no longer an issue in the country. Ri did acknowledge the occurrence of public executions but said they are only conducted for serious crimes at the request of the victims' families!

Several UNHRC representatives urged the North Korean government to allow aid workers to bring food to its citizens, while others called on Pyongyang to allow access to the UN Special Rapporteur.

Last October, UN Special Rapporteur for North Korea Vitit Muntarbhorn criticized North Korea’s "abysmal" and ongoing human rights violations in an independent report submitted to the UN General Assembly.

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