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Inquiry urged on rights abuses in North Korea

Marzuki Darusman seeks to create a panel to investigate North Korea.

Marzuki Darusman seeks to create a panel to investigate North Korea.

GENEVA — Already angry over tougher sanctions imposed last week to punish its nuclear tests, North Korea faces renewed pressure over its human rights record as the United Nations Human Rights Council meets Monday to consider calls for an inquiry into possible crimes against humanity.

Marzuki Darusman, a UN investigator, is expected to present a report to the council Monday urging creation of an international commission of inquiry to follow up the abuses recorded in the eight years the United Nations has monitored human rights in North Korea.

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“An inquiry mechanism could produce a more complete picture, quantify and qualify the violations in terms of international law, attribute responsibility to particular actors or perpetrators of these violations,’’ Darusman said.

His recommendation will be taken up in a resolution that the 47-member council was expected to adopt when it votes later in March. The proposal, backed by the UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, and various human rights organizations, is expected to draw on concerns about North Korea’s conduct that prompted both the council and the General Assembly to pass resolutions last year condemning Pyongyang.

Japan has strongly supported a human rights investigation into North Korea. The accusations of North Korean kidnappings of Japanese citizens remain an important human rights and political cause in Japan.

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