Transcript of Canadian Parliamentary Hearing on North Korean Human Rights


Parliament Hill, Image via Wikipedia

In the last issue of CanKor Report (#333) we asked a number of questions regarding a hearing on North Korean human rights held on Canada’s Parliament Hill on the 1st and 3rd February by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. These are the questions we puzzled over:

  • Who came up with the idea of this hearing?
  • Who chose the two “witnesses” that appeared in this hearing?
  • Why was not a single Canadian asked to present a brief or act as a witness?
  • Why were Canadian NGOs and academics with a track record of dealing with the DPRK excluded from participating?
  • Why was the largest Canadian organization dealing with North Korean human rights and refugees (HanVoice) not even invited to attend?
  • Were the dates chosen to send a message to the DPRK on the 10th anniversary of our diplomatic relations?

A transcript of that hearing is now available. (See EVIDENCE, Thursday, February 3, 2011)

At least the first (and perhaps also second) of our questions has now been answered by this transcript:

The Hon. Mr. Wayne Marston, NDP Member of Parliament (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) explains that he and Mr. Kyung B. Lee, President of the Council for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK Canada) “have worked together now for a couple of years on this.” One can also infer from the transcript an answer to the third question. There was indeed a single Canadian acting as a witness: Mr. Kyung B. Lee himself.

The rest of the questions unfortunately remain unanswered.

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