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Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: UN expert launches final visit to neighbouring Republic of Korea

GENEVA / SEOUL (17 November 2015) – 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 from 23 to 27 November 2015 to assess the latest changes surrounding DPRK and to discuss ways to ensure accountability with relevant stakeholders.

This will be the expert’s last official mission to Seoul, as his mandate by the UN Human Rights Council is due to expire in March 2016. Mr. Darusman, who has been serving as the Special Rapporteur since 2010, was also a member of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK which issued its report* in February 2014.

“I will us my last official mission to the Republic of Korea to continue pursuing accountability for gross human rights violation in the DPRK,” he said. “I also hope to use the opportunity to discuss the future of this mandate with relevant partners.”

During his five-day visit to the Republic of Korea, Mr. Darusman will meet with state officials, civil society actors, think tanks, lawyers and others.

At the end of his visit, the human rights expert will hold a press conference on 26 November 2015, from 17:00-18:00 (local time) at Seoul Global Centre in Seoul. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The information the Special Rapporteur will gather during the mission will be reflected in his last report 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.

Press release in Korean:
http://www.ohchr.org/documents/countries/KP/2015-11-17_DPRK_SR_VISIT_SEOUL-KOR.docx

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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