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

GENEVA / SEOUL (7 November 2014) – 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 10 to 14 November 2014 to gather the latest information on inter-Korean relations that can affect the human rights of the North Korean people.

This is the first visit by the Special Rapporteur since the special commission of inquiry on the situation of human rights in DPRK submitted its landmark report* to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014.

“I will use this fact-finding mission to Seoul to obtain further information on the alleged human rights violations, and some of the immediate humanitarian needs, of the people of DPRK,” said the independent expert appointed by the Council to investigate and report on the situation of human rights in DPRK.

The DPRK Government has recently invited the Special Rapporteur to visit the country, but the invitation is yet to be formalized.

During his five-day visit to the Republic of Korea, the Special Rapporteur will meet with State officials, Members of Parliament, civil society and other stakeholders.

At the end of his visit, the UN human rights expert will hold a press conference at 11:00 local time on Friday 14 November 2014, at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul.

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 2015.

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

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

For additional information and media requests, please contact Esther Lam (+41 79 752 0483 / elam@ohchr.org) or Guillaume Pfeifflé (+41 79 752 0483 /   gpfeiffle@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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