[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

N Korea hits out at UN abuses report

State responds to report accusing it torture, rape and murder of political prisoners held inside labour camps.

Last updated: 17 Feb 2014 12:52
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

North Korea has hit out at the United Nations which is due to publish a report on the country's human rights abuses including evidence gathered by Amnesty International, the UK-based rights organisation.

In a statement sent to Reuters, the government called the UN report "fabricated and invented" and an "instrument of political plot".

North Korea "categorically and totally rejects" the report due to be published later on Monday.

"However, we will continue to strongly respond to the end to any attempt of regime-change and pressure under the pretext of 'human rights protection'," it said.

"The DPRK [North Korea] once again makes it clear that the human rights violations mentioned in the so-called 'report' do not exist in our country."

Disturbing accounts

The evidence includes powerful and disturbing accounts that tell of torture, rape and murder inside the country's labour camps where political prisoners are held.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea was set up last March to begin building a case for possible criminal prosecution.

"This may actually be the best chance we've had in a long time to raise the profile, to get more attention to the grave situation inside North Korea and to actually put pressure on the government at the UN and by other governments to make change on the ground," Roseann Rife, East Asia research director at Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

However, defectors from the country and experts are deeply sceptical the exercise will have any effect on the North Korean regime as any attempt to follow up after the final report is issued on Monday is likely to be blocked by China.

North Korea denies crimes against humanity are taking place in the country and labels any criticism of its rights record as a US-led conspiracy.

296

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.