North Korea submitted a report to the UN, ahead of its scheduled review, which whitewashes the widespread and systematic human rights violations committed by the regime’s leadership. Through its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is set to review North Korea’s record on May 1.
At the 25th HRC session that concluded last week, the Commission of Inquiry on North Korea presented a damning 400-page report, which details “violations of the freedoms of thought, expression and religion, discrimination, violations of the freedom of movement and residence, violations of the right to food and related aspects of the right to life, arbitrary detention, torture, executions and prison camps, abductions and enforced disappearances from other countries as well as crimes against humanity.” A strong resolution which asks the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution of its leaders was also adopted.
North Korea denied the detailed report as biased, called the witnesses “criminals” and rejected the report as an “anti-DPRK conspiracy on the part of the United States and its followers” and as a means for Western countries to intervene its internal affairs as well as its sovereignty. During the adoption of the resolution, the North Korean Ambassador told the UN member States “to mind your own business, which means that one needs to see his or her face in the mirror to check how nasty it is before talking about others.”
North Korea submitted its National Report for the UPR which claims that it has cooperated with UN mechanisms (when in fact it consistently blocks access to UN investigators) and that the human rights situation in the country has improved. Below are 10 excerpts from the National Report, which give a false image of “happiness” in the country, when the numerous testimonies of victims tell us otherwise.