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US: NK Human Rights Situation ‘Deplorable’

Posted March. 13, 2010 09:50,   


The U.S. State Department yesterday blasted North Korea’s human rights situation as “deplorable” in its human rights report for 2009.

In its 2008 report released after the inauguration of the Obama administration, Washington also used the expression “poor” for North Korea.

The department publishes the report for submission to Congress every year. The latest edition is the 34th since the report started in 1976.

Again calling North Korea a dictatorial country under Kim Jong Il’s absolute rule, the report said Pyongyang continues to commit serious abuses of human rights, including random executions, torture, forced abortions and infant killings.

“There are continued reports of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, arrests of political prisoners, and torture,” it said.

The U.S. State Department also spoke of reports of female prisoners being forced to abort and infants murdered immediately after birth.

The most notable change in the report is the inclusion of information control through Internet censorship as an important criterion of human rights oppression.

North Korea in effect seeks complete control of all information, with no independent media outlet in the country, the report said.

In addition, the Internet in North Korea is accessible only by ranking government officials and designated elites, it added.

This year’s report also criticized the human rights situations in China, Iran, Cuba, Russia, Myanmar and Sudan, while noting anti-Islam discrimination in Europe.

China’s human rights situation was classified as “poor.” The report expressed concern over oppression in Xinjiang and Tibet while condemning serious Internet censorship.

On South Korea, the report said, “Generally the government respects the human rights of citizens, but females, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities continue to face social discrimination.”