Truth and justice are required in light of the ‘tragic’ legacy of enforced disappearances

Date:

Truth and justice are required in light of the 'tragic' legacy

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • “Mr Türk noted that enforced disappearance is “a grave breach of many rights at once, and the State bears responsibility.

  • A broad range of infractionsThe paper investigates various enforced disappearances and abduction cases from 1950 to 2016.

  • The paper indicates that “without the assistance of the conventional main income provider in the family, women had had to face the whole weight of family life on their own when they were treated with tremendous suspicion and were under constant observation.

  • Long-standing allegationsThe report states that claims of enforced disappearances attributable to the DPRK are “well-documented” by UN human rights organisations.

  • In its study, OHCHR calls for the establishment of “complete” reparation schemes that go beyond compensation, with the engagement of the victims themselves.

The harrowing testimonies of over 80 victims demonstrate that the crimes have created long-lasting damage, according to Türk, who added that “entire generations of families have lived with the agony of not knowing the fate of spouses, parents, and children.”

Mr Türk noted that enforced disappearance is “a grave breach of many rights at once, and the State bears responsibility.”

He urged the DPRK, often known as North Korea, to acknowledge and settle the cases and to collaborate with the United Nations to find answers to these and other critical human rights challenges. Mr Türk supported the report’s urgent plea for truth, justice, and victim compensation.

“We should leave no stone left in seeking responsibility, transparency, and redress, even in decades-old incidents,” he stated.

A broad range of infractions

The paper investigates various enforced disappearances and abduction cases from 1950 to 2016. The incidents follow two distinct patterns: arbitrary detentions of DPRK natives, whose whereabouts and fate are unknown, and the enforced disappearance of foreigners.

They include the abduction of the Republic of Korean people during and after the Korean War, the failure to repatriate prisoners of war, and the abduction or enforced disappearance of nationals from Japan and other nations.

Families broken, livelihoods lost.

The paper “These Wounds Heal Not” describes the “severe and persistent psychological suffering” victims and their families suffered. In the absence of psychiatric help, the family members of the missing attested to their severe worry and traumatic experiences.

In an environment where most of the disappeared are men, the violations have also had a profound economic impact on families. The paper indicates that “without the assistance of the conventional main income provider in the family, women had had to face the whole weight of family life on their own when they were treated with tremendous suspicion and were under constant observation.”

The consequent marginalisation and poverty afflicted entire generations of families.

Long-standing allegations

The report states that claims of enforced disappearances attributable to the DPRK are “well-documented” by UN human rights organisations. Its conclusions support those of the 2014 Commission of Investigation (COI).

The Commission of Inquiry determined that the government had engaged in a policy of enforced disappearance of persons since 1950 and determined that “systematic abductions, denial of repatriation, and enforced disappearance of persons from other countries on a large scale” constituted crimes against humanity as a matter of state policy.

Demand accountability

The study emphasises that the families of the missing wish learn the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

According to the report, the severity of the crimes necessitates a response and adequate investigations from the DPRK, and “those culpable should be brought to justice in domestic or foreign courts that meet international fair trial standards.”

Restitution and justice for the victims must go hand in hand. In its study, OHCHR calls for the establishment of “complete” reparation schemes that go beyond compensation, with the engagement of the victims themselves.

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