New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A UN General Assembly Special Committee has condemned North Korea and Myanmar over the widespread and repeated violations of human rights. The decision came yesterday after a meeting of representatives of 192 countries. Pyongyang and Naypyidaw reject the charges as "political attacks" and a way to "exert pressure" on governments.
The Third Committee of the United Nations, which deals with human rights issues, adopted a non-binding resolution on North Korea, with 97 votes in favour, 19 against and 65 abstentions. It expresses "very serious concerns" for the numerous reports in condemning "systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights”.
Among the crimes committed by the North Korean government are o torture, inhumane prison conditions, public executions, mass punishment and "the existence of a large number of prison camps and the widespread practice of forced labour."
The European Union, United States, Japan and South Korea have strongly supported the resolution. Pak Tok Hun, deputy North Korean ambassador to the UN vote as yet another attack by political enemies of North Korea.
The UN Committee also condemned Myanmar for "systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Burmese people." Allegations rejected by Than Swe, Myanmar's UN envoy, who stated the resolution "was clearly lacking” clear and a little more than another means to" keep up the pressure, along with sanctions. "
The non-binding motion against the dictatorship in Burma was adopted by 92 votes in favour, 26 against and 65 abstentions. Among the reasons that led to the condemnation of Myanmar, is the recent trial and conviction under house arrest of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Hoping that the parliamentary elections of 2010 are "free, fair, transparent and inclusive", the UN demands that the opposition leader be released, along with all the political prisoners confined in the jails of the country.