UN rights body condemns North Korea

UN rights body condemns North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The United Nations’ human rights committee has unanimously condemned the “systematic, widespread and grave” human rights abuses in North Korea, citing its reported use of torture, the death penalty for political and religious reasons and numerous political prison camps.

A resolution which calls on North Korea to immediately put an end to all human rights abuses in the country was adopted by consensus by the committee, which includes all 193 UN member states. It now goes to the General Assembly for final approval next month, which is virtually certain.

North Korean diplomat Kim Song vehemently rejected the resolution, which was sponsored by the European Union and Japan, saying it was “politically motivated” and promoted by the United States and its followers “in their attempt to achieve their goals of undermining our system”.

All information in the resolution “is a false fabrication cooked up by some hostile non-governmental organisations” funded by the US, he said.

Lithuania’s deputy UN ambassador Rita Kazragiene, who introduced the resolution, said North Korea’s positive steps in the past year, including signing the convention on the rights of people with disabilities, “do not go nearly far enough and are clearly outweighed by a general deterioration in the overall human rights situation”.

The resolution highlights “inhuman” conditions of detention, public executions, collective punishments extending up to three generations, the extensive use of forced labour, limitations on every person who wants to travel in the country or abroad and severe punishment of refugees or asylum seekers returned to North Korea.

It also expresses “very deep concern at the precarious humanitarian situation in the country, which could rapidly deteriorate” because of North Korea’s “limited resilience towards natural disasters” and government policies causing limited availability and access to food.

Meanwhile the human rights committee welcomed pledges by Iran’s new president on some important human rights issues, but expressed deep concern at serious abuses including torture, frequent use of the death penalty, and widespread restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression.

A Canadian-sponsored resolution urging Iran to address ongoing abuses was adopted 83-36 with 62 abstentions. The General Assembly is expected to give final approval next month.

Canada’s UN ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski said “human rights violations in Iran continue to be widespread and grave” and urged the government “to demonstrate a real commitment to human rights reform”.

Iran’s UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee accused Canada of brushing off “Iran’s enormous advancement” and presenting a resolution “devoid of facts”.

More on this topic

North Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignityNorth Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignity

Kim Jong Un orders South Korean hotels destroyed at resortKim Jong Un orders South Korean hotels destroyed at resort

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vows to fight US sanctionsNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un vows to fight US sanctions

Is nuclear-arms control coming under fire?Is nuclear-arms control coming under fire?

More in this Section

Prince Andrew has no regrets about Epstein friendship, but final visit was wrongPrince Andrew has no regrets about Epstein friendship, but final visit was wrong

Donald Trump undergoes health check-upDonald Trump undergoes health check-up

Prince Andrew could not have slept with accuser ‘because he was at Pizza Express’Prince Andrew could not have slept with accuser ‘because he was at Pizza Express’

Jeremy Corbyn hails Labour manifesto that gives ‘promise of a better Britain’Jeremy Corbyn hails Labour manifesto that gives ‘promise of a better Britain’


Lifestyle

Kate Tempest’s Vicar Street show began with the mother of all selfie moments. The 33 year-old poet and rapper disapproves of mid-concert photography and instructed the audience to get their snap-happy impulses out of the way at the outset. What was to follow would, she promised, be intense. We should give ourselves to the here and now and leave our phones in our pockets.Kate Tempest dives deep and dark in Dublin gig

Des O'Sullivan examines the lots up for auction in Bray.A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

Following South Africa’s deserved Rugby World Cup victory I felt it was about time that I featured some of their wines.Wine with Leslie Williams

All your food news.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

More From The Irish Examiner