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Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: UN human rights expert to visit neighbouring Seoul

GENEVA / SEOUL (2 September 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, will visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) from 6 to 10 September 2015 to assess recent changes in inter-Korean relation and their implications for the human rights of the North Korean people.

“I will use this mission to Seoul to obtain new information on the alleged human rights violations in DPRK, but also to discuss the impact of new developments in relations between the two Koreas on human rights,” said the independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on the situation of human rights in DPRK.

This is the first visit by the Special Rapporteur since the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights established a presence in neigbouring Seoul as a follow up to the Commission of Inquiry* on human rights in DPRK.

During his five-day visit to the Republic of Korea, Mr. Darusman will meet with State officials, civil society actors and other interested parties.

At the end of his visit, the UN human rights expert will hold a press conference at 15:00 local time on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, at Yonsei University in Seoul. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The information the Special Rapporteur will gather during his mission to RoK will be reflected in his report to the Human Rights Council in March 2016.

(*) Read the Commission of Inquiry’s report: http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/coidprk/pages/commissioninquiryonhrindprk.aspx

Mr. Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in August 2010 by the UN Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organisation and serves in his individual capacity. He has served in a three-member UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and chaired the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka. In March 2013, the Human Rights Council designated Special Rapporteur Darusman to serve simultaneously on a three-member Commission of Inquiry to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave reports of violations of human rights in DPRK. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/KP/Pages/SRDPRKorea.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – DPRK: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/KPIndex.aspx

OHCHR(Seoul) page: http://seoul.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/HOME.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact in English, Tarek Cheniti (+82 10 5927 8724/ tcheniti@ohchr.org) or in Korean, YounKyo Ahn (+82 10 6607 3595 /yahn@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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