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UN urges humanitarian solution for DPR Korea nationals detained in China

24 February 2012 – The United Nations refugee agency today called on China not to send back to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) a group of some 25 people it arrested this month and to find a humanitarian solution to the situation.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has not had access to this group and only learned about them about a week ago from media in the Republic of Korea, according to the agency’s spokesperson.

“UNHCR has been in communication with the Chinese authorities on this group and has called on the Chinese Government to uphold the non-refoulement principle,” Adrian Edwards said, referring to the obligation of States to not forcibly return people where they face persecution or serious harm.

“UNHCR is encouraging all parties concerned to find a viable humanitarian solution in the best interests of these individuals and to ensure their safety,” added Mr. Edwards.

The agency said it is closely following the situation and reaffirms its commitment to continue to work with all parties on the issue.

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