By Salil Shetty, Special to CNN
Original published for CNN
The resounding victory for Kim Jong Un in North Korea’s parliamentary elections this past week reflects the “absolute support” of people in the country, according to state media.
However, it’s doubtful such support includes the hundreds of thousands of people – including children – that languish in political prison camps and other detention facilities. Or those that have been the victims of crimes against humanity as documented in a chilling U.N. report made public last month. Indeed, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry report was unprecedented, stating: “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations…does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
When the full horror of the atrocities committed by North Korea against its own citizens was laid bare, support for the Commission’s comprehensive findings was swift among many in the international community. But such statements of support will not bring to an end the systematic torture, executions, rape, or forced labor inflicted upon North Koreans by their own government. Nor will it ensure those responsible for these crimes against humanity are brought to justice.