Home' Greymouth Star : February 18th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits an orphanage in this undated photo
released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang.
in UN report
North Korean security
chiefs and possibly even
Supreme Leader Kim
Jong-un himself should
face international justice
for ordering systematic
torture, star vation and
mass killings bordering
on genocide, United
Nations investigators said
e investigators told
Kim in a letter they
were advising the UN to
refer North Korea to the
International Criminal Court (ICC), to
ensure any culprits "including possibly
yourself " were held accountable.
North Korea said it "categorically
and totally" rejected the investigators'
report, which it called "a product of
politicisation of human rights on the
part of EU and Japan in alliance with
the U.S. hostile policy".
e unprecedented public warning
and rebuke to a ruling head of state by
a UN Commission of Inquiry is likely
to complicate e orts to persuade the
isolated country to rein in its nuclear
weapons programme and belligerent
confrontations with South Korea and
e UN investigators said they had
also told Kim's main ally China that it
might be "aiding and abetting crimes
against humanity" by sending migrants
and defectors back to North Korea,
where they faced torture and execution
--- a charge that Chinese o cials had
As referral to the ICC is seen as a
dim hope, given China's likely veto of
any such move by Western powers in
the UN Security Council, thoughts are
also turning to setting up some form
of special tribunal on North Korea,
diplomatic and UN sources told Reuters.
"We've collected all the testimony and
can't just stop and wait 10 years. e idea
is to sustain work," said one.
Michael Kirby, chairman of the
independent Commission of Inquiry,
told Reuters the crimes the team had
catalogued in a 372-page report were
reminiscent of those committed by
Nazis during World War Two.
"Some of them are strikingly similar,"
"Testimony was given . . .in relation to the
political prison camps of large numbers
of people who were malnourished,
who were e ectively starved to death
and then had to be disposed of in pots
burned and then buried.
It was the duty of other
prisoners in the camps to
dispose of them," he said.
the size of a telephone
directory, listing atrocities
torture, rape, abductions,
" e gravity, scale and
nature of these violations
reveal a state that does not
have any parallel in the
contemporary world," it said.
e ndings came out of a year-long
investigation involving public testimony
by defectors, including former prison
camp guards, at hearings in South
Korea, Japan, Britain and the United
Defectors included Shin Dong-hyuk,
who gave harrowing accounts of his life
and escape from a prison camp. As a
13-year-old, he informed a prison guard
of a plot by his mother and brother
to escape and both were executed,
according to a book on his life called
Escape from Camp 14.
North Korea's diplomatic mission in
Geneva dismissed the ndings shortly
before they were made public. "We will
continue to strongly respond to the end
to any attempt of regime-change and
pressure under the pretext of 'human
rights protection'," it said a statement
sent to Reuters.
e abuses were mainly perpetrated
by o cials in structures that ultimately
reported to Kim --- State security, the
Ministry of People's Security, the army,
the judiciary and Workers' Party of
Korea, according to the investigators,
led by Kirby, a retired Australian chief
e team recommended targeted
UN sanctions against civil o cials
and military commanders suspected of
the worst crimes. It did not reveal any
names, but said that it had compiled a
database of suspects from evidence and
Pyongyang has used food as "a means
of control over the population" and
"deliberate star vation" to punish political
and ordinary prisoners, according to the
team of 12 investigators.
Per vasive state sur veillance quashed all
dissent. Christians were persecuted and
women faced blatant discrimination.
People were sent to prison camps
without hope of release. --- Reuters
Benoni (South Africa)
Twenty-two artisinal goldminers
who came out of a disused and
temporarily blocked shaft near
Johannesburg over the last two
days have been arrested and will be
charged with illegal mining, South
African police said overnight.
Ten of the men emerged blinking in
the sunlight and covered in yellow-
brown dust in a eld in Benoni, a
town east of Johannesburg, adding
to a dozen who came up the previous
day after a crane removed a concrete
slab blocking their exit.
ey were given a cold drink and
medical check before being taken
away to the nearby police station.
Reporters were not allowed to speak
to them, and police and private mine
security guards stood guard at the
entrance to the ventilation shaft in
case an unknown number of other
miners who refused to come up
changed their minds.
Illegal mining of abandoned shafts
is common in the goldmines around
Johannesburg, with informal miners
living underground in dangerous,
cramped conditions for weeks on end
as they dig out small parcels of gold-
Many are illegal migrants from
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and
Lesotho. Fatal accidents are
common, and underground battles
between rival groups have also been
Bullion producer Gold One, which
owns the mine, had blocked the shaft
with a large slab to prevent access but
the illegal miners burrowed around it.
e slab then shifted, blocking their
exit until it was removed by rescue
workers. --- Reuters
Rescued South African miners charged
Eight college students have
been killed and dozens more are
feared trapped after an auditorium
collapsed under heavy snow at
a resort in the southern South
Korean city of Gyeongju.
It is believed as many as 450
students were attending a concert
in the building when the roof caved
in last evening.
Police o cials quoted by the
Yonhap news agency said eight
people were con rmed killed in the
collapse and about 50 more were
thought to still be trapped.
A spokesman for the local re
service earlier told AFP by phone
73 people were injured, 15 of them
Rescue workers were continuing
to search for the dozens more
students feared trapped, he said.
Yonhap reported that police
feared the toll could rise
throughout the night, with around
300 rescuers on the scene.
e collapse appeared to have
been caused by heavy snow which
had piled up on the roof.
" e ceiling came crashing
down at the front near the stage,"
one student told the YTN news
" en pandemonium broke
out and everyone started rushing
towards the exits, shouting and
screaming," he added.
Pictures showed injured students
being carried away on stretchers
from the largely metal structure
that appeared to have buckled in
In one shot, a young woman
could be seen trapped under debris
as helmeted rescue o cials tried to
free her from the twisted wreckage
of the building.
"Heavy equipment has been
brought in to clear the debris," the
re o cial said.
e auditorium was part of the
Mauna Ocean Resort, which had
been hosting an orientation event
for close to 1000 students from
a foreign language college in the
southern city of Busan.
e resort was in an area that has
experienced exceptionally heavy
snowfall over the past week.
Fire o cials told Yonhap they had
di culty reaching the resort which
is high up a mountain, adding that
fresh snow was falling. --- AFP
Eight dead, dozens trapped in auditorium
A part of a collapsed auditorium in Gyeongju, south of Seoul. At least eight students were killed and some 50 others remained trapped in debris
after the building collapsed late yesterday, according to police o cials.
A suicide bomber triggered the blast
in a bus that killed three South Korean
tourists and the Egyptian driver,
Egyptian police believe.
e attack on Sunday, near the Taba
border crossing with Israel, was the rst
targeting tourists since the overthrow of
Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in
July set o a wave of bombings that have
killed scores of policemen and soldiers.
After reviewing CCTV footage of
the attack, police concluded a suicide
bomber had boarded the tourist bus and
detonated explosives near the door.
" e preliminary investigation shows
some tourists disembarked to get their
bags. A man walked to the bus. ere
was an explosion when he reached the
third step," interior ministry spokesman
Hany Abdel Latif told AFP.
e tourists were all members of the
same church group from the central
South Korean county of Jincheon who
were on a 12-day trip through Turkey,
Egypt and Israel. ey were about
to cross into Israel when the attack
e al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Beit
al-Maqdis group, based in the Sinai
peninsula, has deployed several suicide
bombers in attacks on police, as well
as in a failed attempt to assassinate
interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in
September. --- AFP
Police vehicles in front of the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines ight ET 702
after passengers disembarked at Cointrin Airport in Geneva.
Co-pilot hijacks Ethiopian flight, demands asylum
A co-pilot who hijacked an Ethiopian
Airlines ight to seek asylum in
Switzerland overnight surrendered to
police at Geneva airport after jumping
out of a cockpit window and scrambling
down an emergency rope.
e airliner's second-in-command,
named by Ethiopia as Hailemedhin
Abera Tegegn, 31, took control of the
plane when the pilot left the cockpit
to use the toilet. He then sent a coded
signal announcing he had hijacked his
With the airliner on the tarmac, an
unarmed Hailemedhin made his exit
via a cockpit window, without harming
passengers or crew, police spokesman
Pierre Grangean said.
"Just after landing, the co-pilot came
out of the cockpit and ran to the police
and said, 'I'm the hijacker.' He said he is
not safe in his own country and wants
asylum," Grangean said.
e airliner could later be seen with a
knotted yellow rope dangling from an
open cockpit window.
e opposition and rights
campaigners in Ethiopia accuse the
government of sti ing dissent and
torturing political detainees. But it is
rare for state o cials and employees
--- Ethiopian Airlines is run by the
State --- to seek asylum. e last senior
o cial to do so ed to the United
States in 2009.
Ethiopia said Hailemedhin had
worked for Ethiopian Airlines for the
past ve years and had no criminal
"So far it was known that he was
medically sane, until otherwise he
is proven through the investigation
which is going on right now," Redwan
Hussein, spokesman for the Ethiopian
government, said. --- Reuters
e Syrian army has recaptured
an Alawite village in central Hama
province where rebels "massacred"
civilians earlier this month, State
news agency SANA says.
e Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights, based in Britain,
has said at least 25 members
of President Bashar al-Assad's
Alawite sect were killed by Islamist
ghters in the village of Maan on
UN chief Ban Ki-moon later
expressed "great shock" at the
killings and demanded that
"perpetrators of this massacre" be
brought to justice.
SANA, quoting a military source,
said overnight "army units have
established total control over Maan,
after crushing the terrorists who
had in ltrated (the village) and
committed a massacre against its
civilian residents, killing dozens of
them, including women."
State television also reported
the army's recapture of Maan but
gave a higher death toll, saying
42 civilians had been killed by
"terrorists", the regime's term for
e obser vatory --- which had
reported 14 women among the
dead --- said Maan was retaken
"after shelling and ghting".
e monitoring group meanwhile
reported renewed regime air strikes
on the central city of Homs for the
second day running.
e United Nations and Syria's
Red Crescent last week evacuated
some 1400 people who had been
trapped inside rebel-held areas
besieged by the army for more than
e operation was made possible
by a deal that included a cease re.
But it was suspended after clashes
and shelling erupted on Sunday,
with the rebels and the regime
blaming each other undermining
the humanitarian operation.
Syria's revolt began as a peaceful
anti-Assad uprising in March
2011, but has turned into a bloody
insurgency after the regime
unleashed a brutal crackdown
More than 140,000 people have
been killed in the con ict and
millions have been forced to ee.
Syrian army seizes massacre village
Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe has pardoned 2000 prisoners,
mostly women and juveniles, in a move
that should ease congestion in the
e numbers of pardoned prisoners
amounts to more than 10% of the prison
population, which stood at 18,460 last
year against a holding capacity of 17,000.
Under the sweeping amnesty all females
will go home, except those ser ving
life terms, according to a government
clemency notice published on Monday.
Mugabe also granted amnesty to
prisoners aged 18 and under "irrespective
of the o ences they committed".
e pardon also extends to all
terminally ill inmates, and those over 70.
Prisoners convicted of murder, treason,
rape, carjacking, armed robbery, stock
theft and those serving a sentence
imposed by a court-martial are excluded
from the amnesty.
e country's constitution allows a
president to extend amnesty to prisoners
whenever he wishes.
More than 100 prisoners died last year
in Zimbabwe's cash-strapped prisons,
which have been hit by food shortages,
according to a rights group citing prison
e Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights said prison o cials had told
a parliamentary committee that the
prisoners died "owing to nutrition-
related illnesses induced by food
shortages and natural causes".
In 2009, the International Committee
of the Red Cross had to step in with
food, blankets and soap handouts to avert
massive hunger and disease outbreaks.
Nepalese air crash
claims 18 lives
All 18 people aboard a small
plane that crashed in bad weather
in Nepal were killed, an army
spokesman said overnight, after
searchers battled heavy rain and
harsh winds to reach the rugged
site the day after the event.
e crash highlights the poor
safety record of Nepal, where
more than a dozen airlines y
to nearly 50 airports, many in
remote hills and mountains
shrouded in cloud and cut o
All 15 passengers, among them
a foreigner, and a crew of three
were killed in Sunday's crash
at Masine hill in the village of
Dhikura, 200km west of the
capital Kathmandu, o cials said.
"All 18 dead bodies have been
found," army spokesman Jagadish
Pokharel told Reuters. One was
an infant, and nine of the bodies
were charred beyond recognition,
police added. ere were no
immediate further details from
the remote area, authorities said.
Many parts of Nepal experienced
rain at the weekend, with snow
covering some mountainous areas.
e downpours and bad weather
prevented search helicopters from
reaching the area of the crash
O cials said the plane, a
Canadian-made Twin Otter on
a ight from the resort town of
Pokhara to Jumla in the far west,
had broken into pieces, scattering
e aircraft, owned by State-
run Nepal Airlines Corp, featured
in the country's rst hijacking 40
years ago, when it was seized by
activists of the Nepali Congress
party during a struggle against
the ruling monarchy, media
e monarchy was abolished in
2008 and the party chief, Sushil
Koirala, a member of a noted
political family who spent three
years in jail in India over his
involvement in the hijacking, is
now Nepal's prime minister.
At least 97 people have died
in six air crashes in Nepal since
2010, the worst occurring in
September 2012, when 19
people died after a Dornier plane
crashed in Kathmandu just after
taking o for Lukla, the gateway
to Mount Everest.
In December the European
Union blacklisted Nepalese
airlines and banned them from
ying to the EU on safety
grounds. --- Reuters
A tribal couple in south-west Pakistan
have been stoned to death allegedly on
the orders of a local cleric after being
accused of having an extramarital a air.
Eight people have been arrested,
including the cleric, for the suspected
murders in the village of Manzkai,
150km from Quetta in sparsely
populated Baluchistan province.
"Locals have told the authorities that
the man and woman were stoned to
death. Some people are also saying that
they were stoned and later shot," senior
local administration o cial Zul qar
He said that witnesses have told
authorities that the man and woman,
both from a nomadic tribe and married
to other people, were found guilty of
" e bodies of the executed man and
woman will be exhumed and a post-
mortem examination will be performed
to ascertain how they were killed,"
Durrani said. --- AFP
Couple stoned to
death in Pakistan
Gold Coast (Queensland)
A Queensland man who helped a
backyard tattooist ink a large male
genital on another man's back has been
sent to jail.
Christopher William Lord, 23, was
sentenced at the Ipswich District Court
on Friday to 12 months' imprisonment
with a parole release date of March
12 after pleading guilty to assault
occasioning bodily harm.
Lord was charged with assisting friend
Matthew Francis Brady, 24, in tattooing
a 40cm long penis on to another man's
back after the trio had spent an afternoon
drinking at Brady's Ebbw Vale home in
Brady was sentenced for his part in the
crime in 2011.
e Queensland Times reported the
pair had convinced the third man, who
is on a disability pension, to get a tattoo
of a dragon and tiger on his back.
After he agreed they then drew the
penis, testicles and an obscene phrase on
his back without the man's knowledge,
the report says.
e victim has reportedly since had the
tattoo covered after an Ipswich tattooist
donated his services to the man. --- AAP
Genital tattoo brings prison term
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