GENEVA (18 January 2021) – UN human rights experts today released a statement condemning the violent events at the US Capitol in Washington. It reads as follows:
“We, the undersigned independent experts on human rights at the United Nations, strongly affirm and express our solidarity with the American people who stand for democracy, equality and the rule of law at this critical moment.
The violent attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election at the US Capitol on 6 January was a shocking and incendiary event.
We strongly condemn the attack and the incitement to violence and hatred online and offline, and call for accountability.
We stand with the democratic outcomes of the recent elections and urge political leaders to do everything in their power to de-escalate tensions and unify the country in full respect for democracy and the rule of law.
Notwithstanding the urgent need to tackle political violence of any kind, we urge the US Government, the private sector, civil society and other groups to ensure that their responses are consistent with international human rights standards, including the freedom of expression and due process of the law.
We maintain our hope that the US democracy will emerge strengthened from this crisis without damage to its institutions and with renewed commitment to peaceful pluralism, rule of law and democratic governance.”
* The experts: Ms. Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Diego Garcia-Sayan, Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. David R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, Mr. Yao Agbetse, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Central African Republic, Mr. Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Mr. Obiora C. Okafor, Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, Mr. Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Leigh Toomey (Chair-Rapporteur), Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair), Miriam Estrada-Castillo, Mumba Malila, Seong-Phil Hong, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Mr. Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association, Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin , Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Henrikas Mickevičius (Vice Chair), Ms. Aua Baldé, Mr. Bernard Duhaime, and Mr. Luciano Hazan Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Mr. Michael Fakhri, Special Rapporteur on the right to food.
The Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
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