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North Korea / Human rights: UN Special Rapporteur in final official visit to Japan

Japanese | Korean

GENEVA / TOKYO (13 January 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, will visit Japan from 18 to 22 January 2016 to assess the latest developments regarding the DPRK and discuss ways to ensure accountability for gross human rights violations in the country, including abductions.

The independent expert, whose mandate ends in July 2016, was first appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2010. This will be his last official mission to Japan. Mr. Darusman was also a member of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK, which issued its report* in February 2014.

Since his appointment, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit DPRK; however, access has so far not been granted. He has been visiting other countries in the region such as Japan, Thailand and the Republic of Korea.

“As I did in my last official visit to the Republic of Korea in November 2015, I will use this mission to Japan to continue exploring possible measures to pursue accountability for gross human rights violations in the DPRK, including abductions,” he said.

During his five-day visit to Japan, Mr. Darusman will meet with state officials, families of abduction victims, civil society actors, journalists and other relevant stakeholders.

At the end of his visit, the human rights expert will hold a press conference on 22 January 2016, from 15:00-16:00 (local time) at United Nations University in Tokyo. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will report his findings and recommendations 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 Office: 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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