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Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: UN expert in fact-finding mission through the South

GENEVA (17 November 2011) – The United Nations 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 the Republic of Korea (RoK) from 21-25 November 2011, to gather information on the alleged human rights violations of the people of DPRK.

Since his appointment in August 2010, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit DPRK, which has so far not been honoured. In absence of cooperation from DPRK, the Special Rapporteur has been visiting other countries in the region such as RoK, Japan and Thailand.

“While the focus of my mission will be the human rights situation in DPRK, I will look equally at some of the immediate humanitarian needs of the people of DPRK, such as the scarcity of food,” Mr. Darusman said. His visit comes at a stage when DPRK is facing deepening food crisis.

“In my second mission to RoK as Special Rapporteur, I will also study the situation of asylum seekers, the question of abduction of foreign nationals by the agents of DPRK and the long pending issue of separated Korean families,” he added.

While in RoK, the human rights expert will meet with government authorities, civil society organizations and alleged victims of human rights violations. He is also expected to visit Hanawon reception center that accommodates newly arrived asylum seekers from DPRK.

At the end of his visit, Mr. Darusman will hold a press conference at 9:00 am on Friday 25 November 2011 at the Seoul Plaza Hotel in Seoul.

The information he gathers during his mission to RoK will be reflected in his report to the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) was designated 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 is a member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons, and has served in various capacities at the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission. Mr. Darusman is a Law graduate from the Catholic University of Parahyangan Bandung, Indonesia.

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

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

For additional information and media enquiries, please contact Ajith Sunghay (Tel: +41 22 928 9353 / email: asunghay@ohchr.org) or write to hr-dprk@ohchr.org

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

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