"The nine patterns are: violation of the right to food; torture; arbitrary detention; violations of human rights associated with prison camps; discrimination; extensive violation of freedom of expression; violation of the right to life; restrictions on freedom of movement; and enforced disappearances," said Marzuki Darusman, the U.N. Human Rights Council special rapporteur for North Korea.
The abuses are widespread and "systematic," he said.
Marzuki issued a report on human rights abuses, in spite of what he called lack of cooperation by the North Korean government.
“The international community, through the United Nations, has the responsibility to launch an independent and impartial inquiry into a situation, where there are grounds to believe that crimes against humanity are being committed and the country concerned fails to carry out effective independent and impartial inquiries itself,” he said.
“While usually not sufficient in and by itself to end crimes against humanity, increased scrutiny by international inquiry affords a measure of protection, especially when coupled with the prospect of future criminal investigations and the deterrent effect such a prospect may have on individual perpetrators.”
Natural disasters helped cause food shortages in North Korea, Darusman said in a report released last month, but "the issue is not simply lack of food for the population, but rather the manipulative control of food distribution by the regime. The authorities seek to control the food distribution process as a means of controlling the population and making them dependent on the regime.”
Torture included specific horrors committed against women, Darusman charged.
“Female repatriates suffer what is called 'pumping' torture, which is a common sexual torture to find money hidden inside a woman's vagina," according to the U.N. report. "Women who face this torture are stripped of their clothing, and their arms are tied behind their backs. Then they squat and stand repeatedly until they lose consciousness. It maximizes the sense of shame in women. Assault against pregnant women is also routinized, and wrapping the forcibly aborted baby's face with plastic to (induce) death is known (in) frequent occurrences.”