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UN announces team to investigate claims of torture and labor camps in North Korea

The United Nations has announced a team of three human rights investigators in a bid to gather information on alleged torture and imprisonment camps in North Korea.

The U.N. Human Rights Council launched a one-year inquiry on March 21, and it hopes to speak to camp survivors and exiles to document violations that it could use to build a case for prosecution, Reuters reports.

The alleged labor and torture camps are believed to house at least 200,000 people, but North Korea denies their existence, according to activists.

"There is sufficient evidence outside of North Korea about what is happening inside, so the government can't keep a lid on it anymore,” Julie de Rivero, who works for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters. “That's why this investigation is so needed."

The investigators are Michael Donald Kirby, a former Australia High Court justice, Sonja Biserko, a founder of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and Indonesia’s Marzuki Darusman, who is the current U.N. special rapporteur to North Korea.

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