HONG KONG (CNN) — A mother forced to drown her own baby and a prison camp inmate compelled to eat rodents and lizards just to survive — these are some of the horrific experiences documented by a United Nations inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea.
According to the man who headed up the study, examples of “unspeakable atrocities” collected to date suggest widespread abuses on a scale requiring an international response.
“What we have seen and heard so far — the specificity, detail and shocking character of the personal testimony — appears without doubt to demand follow-up action by the world community, and accountability on behalf of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Michael Kirby, chair of the three-member commission of inquiry, told the U.N.’s Human Rights Council Tuesday.
The remarks were contained in a draft report updating the council on the work of the commission, ahead of a final report to the U.N. General Assembly slated for March.
Pyongyang has refused to cooperate with the investigation and rejects its validity.
Kirby said the interim findings were based on testimony given at public hearings in Seoul and Tokyo last month, from sources including North Korean defectors, former regime officials, survivors of political prison camps, and the families of Japanese and South Koreans abducted by North Korean agents.
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