OHCHR / DPRK WOMEN DETENTION

28-Jul-2020 00:01:53
The UN Human Rights Office has today launched a report that details how women detained in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are subjected to multiple and serious human rights violations by State security and police officials. UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / DPRK WOMEN DETENTION
TRT: 1:53
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 28 JULY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE

1. Aerial shot, Palais Wilson and Lake Geneva

28 JULY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The report is based on 100 first-hand accounts by North Korean women detained in the DPRK after being forcibly returned. And the period covered is from 2009 to 2019. These women, who eventually managed to escape the DPRK, gave detailed interviews to UN Human Rights staff. Although traveling abroad is effectively prohibited in the DPRK, women embark on dangerous journeys looking for life-saving sources of income or a new life abroad. They often fall into the hands of human traffickers, ending up as cheap bonded labour or exploited sexually, and, at times, forced into marriage.”

FILE

3. Tracking shot, Palais Wilson’s gate

28 JULY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“When they return to the DPRK, they are detained by the Ministry of State Security or the Ministry of People’s Security. And they are often sentenced to imprisonment by State officials without a trial, or after proceedings that do not meet international norms and standards for due process and a fair trial. Among the testimonies one woman described how she tried hard not to reveal details of her life in China. As a result, she was beaten and kicked so hard that one of her ribs was broken – she says she still feels the pain today. Another women said that the beatings were so excruciating that she even attempted suicide.”

FILE

5. Aerial shot, Palais Wilson

28 JULY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Women recounted how they are detained in inhumane, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, with little or no access to daylight and fresh air. Detainees are subjected to forced nudity and invasive body searches. Some women reported sexual violence by guards or seeing other women being sexually abused by guards. “

FILE

7. Aerial shot, Palais Wilson
STORYLINE
The UN Human Rights Office has today launched a report that details how women detained in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are subjected to multiple and serious human rights violations by State security and police officials.

The report – covering the period from 2009 to 2019 - was based on first-hand accounts by North Korean women detained in the DPRK after being forcibly returned. One hundred of those women who eventually managed to escape the DPRK, gave detailed interviews to UN Human Rights staff.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet described these women’s stories as n heartbreaking.

“When they return to the DPRK, they are detained by the Ministry of State Security or the Ministry of People’s Security. And they are often sentenced to imprisonment by State officials without a trial, or after proceedings that do not meet international norms and standards for due process and a fair trial,’ said Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a briefing on Tuesday (28 Jul).. “Among the testimonies one woman described how she tried hard not to reveal details of her life in China. As a result, she was beaten and kicked so hard that one of her ribs was broken – she says she still feels the pain today. Another women said that the beatings were so excruciating that she even attempted suicide,” Throssell said.

“Women recounted how they are detained in inhumane, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, with little or no access to daylight and fresh air,” the spokesperson reported. “Detainees are subjected to forced nudity and invasive body searches. Some women reported sexual violence by guards or seeing other women being sexually abused by guards. “

The report contains a set of recommendations to the DPRK Government to bring the detention system into line with international norms and standards, including meeting the needs of female detainees, based on the Nelson Mandela Rules and the Bangkok Rules. The UN Human Rights Office stands ready to work and engage with the authorities in a meaningful and constructive way.

The report also calls on other States to respect the principle of non-refoulement by not repatriating people to the DPRK when there are substantial grounds for believing that they would face a real risk of serious human rights violations and other irreparable harm. It also calls on States support any accountability process to investigate whether international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity, have been and continue to be committed in the country.
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