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

GENEVA / SEOUL (11 November 2013) – 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) on 13-15 November to gather information on inter-Korean relations that can affect the human rights of the North Korean people.

Since his appointment in August 2010, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit DPRK; however, access has so far not been granted. Mr. Darusman has been visiting other countries in the region such as Japan, Thailand and RoK.

“I will use this fact-finding mission to Seoul to better understand any aspects or factors that may impact on inter-Korean relations. Such issues can affect a wide range of human rights, such as the reunification of the hundreds and thousands of separated families on the Korean Peninsula,” said the independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on the situation of human rights in DPRK.

During his three-day visit to the Republic of Korea, the Special Rapporteur will meet with representatives of government ministries, the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly, civil society and other stakeholders.

At the end of his visit, the UN human rights expert will hold a press conference at 15:00 local time on Friday, 15 November 2013, at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Korea Press Center, in Seoul.

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

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

For additional information and media requests, please contact Esther Lam (+41 79 444 5515 / elam@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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