Darusman Urges DPRK to Halt Executions

United Nations human rights experts said that the execution on 12 December 2013 of Jang Song Thaek, a senior official in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with disregard to due process and other international human rights standards, is just one of many executions reported in the country since August 2013.

Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK, said “The arrest, trial by a special military tribunal and execution of Jang Song Thaek, uncle of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un, all reportedly took place within five days.” Darusman added that he received information about public executions in different locations in DPRK involving charges such as selling illegal videos, viewing pornography and taking drugs.

Mr. Darusman also expressed concern about the widely documented practice of “guilt by association” in DPRK. When a person is punished for a political or ideological crime, associates and members of his or her family also risk punishment by either being sent to prison camps or being executed immediately.

On 18 December 2013, The UN General Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft on the “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” The resolution expressed "very serious concern at the persistence of continuing reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights." The General Assembly has, in the past years, issued similar resolutions condemning the DPRK’s human rights record.