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UN expert on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea launches mission to Japan

GENEVA (20 January 2011) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, will carry out an official visit to Japan from 25-28 January 2011. The DPRK Government has failed to accommodate all visit requests since the mandate to monitor and report on human rights in the country was created by the then UN Human Rights Commission in 2004.

“Since my latest request to enter the DPRK was rejected by the Government in October, I have launched missions to gather information in other countries in the region, starting with the Republic of Korea in November 2010,” Mr. Darusman said.

“I am hoping to draw together details on the alleged human rights violations of the people of the DPRK,” the UN independent expert said. “The observations from my mission to the Republic of Korea in November 2010 and my current mission to Japan will be reflected in the report to the Human Rights Council in March 2011.”

While in Japan, the Special Rapporteur will hold discussions with government authorities, civil society organizations, diplomats, United Nations offices, families of abductees and defectors from the DPRK who are currently living in Japan.

Mr. Darusman will hold a press conference at 13:30 pm on Friday 28 January 2011 on the 10th floor of the Japan National Press Club, Tokyo.

Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) took over the mandate as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 1 August 2010. Mr. Darusman has extensive knowledge on human rights protection mechanisms at the regional and international levels, and co-chairs the ASEAN Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. He has also served in various capacities at the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/kp/mandate/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/KPIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:

GENEVA (until Friday 21 January): Mr. Ajith Sunghay (Tel: +41 22 928 9353 / email: asunghay@ohchr.org) or write to hr-dprk@ohchr.org.
TOKYO (during the visit): Ms. Yasuko Senoo, UNIC Tokyo's Information Officer (Tel: +81 3 5467 4451 / email: yasuko.senoo@unic.org).