DPRK

UN rights expert "hopes for change" in North Korea as he launches next fact-finding mission to Japan

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12 January 2011

GENEVA / TOKYO – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Marzuki Darusman, expressed his hopes for change in the country as he announced his second official fact-finding visit to Japan from 16 to 20 January 2012. The human rights expert has so far made several requests to visit the DPRK, none of which have been honoured.

“I am hoping that the recent change in leadership in the DPRK will prompt a change in the country’s over-all policy, including policies that affect the human rights of the people of the DPRK, and those that affect immediate neighbours such as Japan and the Republic of Korea,” Mr. Darusman said.

“Since my request to visit the DPRK has been rejected on several occasions,” the Special Rapporteur noted, “I will visit Japan, where I hope to gather information on the human rights situation of the people of DPRK and on cases of abduction of Japanese nationals by agents of the DPRK.” Due to lack of cooperation from the DPRK, the independent expert has been visiting other countries in the region such as the Republic of Korea, Japan and Thailand.

“The observations from my mission to the Republic of Korea, and my current mission to Japan will be reflected in the report to the Human Rights Council in March 2012,” he said.

While in Japan, the Special Rapporteur will hold discussions with government authorities, civil society organizations, diplomats, families of abductees and defectors from the DPRK who are currently living in Japan. His mission comes at a time when numerous international NGOs have called on the DPRK to boost human rights in the country.

Mr. Darusman will hold a press conference at 13:30 pm on Friday, 20 January 2012 on the 10th floor of the Japan National Press Club, Tokyo.

ENDS

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.

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

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

For additional information and media enquiries, please contact:
In Geneva: Ajith Sunghay (Tel: +41-79-444-4078/ email: asunghay@ohchr.org) or write to hr-dprk@ohchr.org
In Tokyo: (during the visit): Ms. Yasuko Senoo, UNIC Tokyo's Information Officer (Tel: +81 3 5467 4451 / email: yasuko.senoo@unic.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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