Tuesday, February 18, 2014

UN Commission Finds Severe Human Rights Abuses, Including Religious Persecution, In North Korea

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced yesterday the release of the report of a commission of inquiry on human rights abuses in North Korea. The 36-page report of the commission dated Feb. 7 (full text) says:
24. The commission finds that systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  In many instances, the violations found entailed crimes against humanity based on State policies....
The report includes findings on religious persecution by North Korea:
31. The State considers the spread of Christianity a particularly serious threat, since it challenges ideologically the official personality cult and provides a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the realm of the State. Apart from the few organized State-controlled churches, Christians are prohibited from practising their religion and are persecuted. People caught practising Christianity are subject to severe punishments in violation of the right to freedom of religion and the prohibition of religious discrimination.
The 36-page report is documented by 354 pages of detailed findings (full text). More background and reactions are reported by CBS News.