Evidence points to “widespread and serious” human rights violations including deliberate starving and executions in North Korea, a team of investigators told the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

“We think of the testimony of a young man, imprisoned from birth and living on rodents, lizards and grass to survive, witnessing the public execution of his mother and his brother,” said Michael Kirby, the head of the commission, of one alleged atrocity.

Testimonies and other evidence collected so far was “representative of large-scale patterns that may constitute systematic and gross violations of human rights,” Mr. Kirby said.

The Geneva-based council had set up a commission of inquiry on North Korea in March in response to the refusal by the country’s Communist regime to cooperate on alleged violations.

“Testimony heard so far points to widespread and serious violations in all areas that the Human Rights Council asked the commission to investigate,” Mr. Kirby said.

The investigators were not allowed into North Korea, but they held hearings in South Korea and Japan for people who had fled the country and whose family members were abducted to North Korea.

More In: World | International | News