Independent UN experts condemn US Capitol attack by pro-Trump protesters
Describing the attack on the Capitol as a shocking and incendiary attempt to "overturn" results of a free and fair election, a group of independent UN rights experts has expressed hope that the US democracy will emerge stronger from this crisis with renewed commitment to peaceful pluralism and rule of law.
Twenty-three Special Rapporteurs and members of Working Groups have recently signed a statement in which they strongly condemned the US Capitol attack and the incitement to violence and hatred online and offline, calling for accountability.
They said the "violent attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election at the US Capitol on January 6 was a shocking and incendiary event".
The group affirmed and expressed their “solidarity with the American people who stand for democracy, equality and the rule of law at this critical moment”.
The rights experts said they 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.
“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,” they said.
Notwithstanding the urgent need to tackle political violence of any kind, the rights experts urged 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.
In an unprecedented incident, thousands of violent Trump supporters on January 6 swarmed over the Capitol, which houses the US House of Representatives and Senate, forcing lawmakers to evacuate their chambers and delaying by several hours a normally routine procedure clearing the way for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be sworn in as president and vice president.
Five people, including a woman and a police official died and several dozens injured in the incident that is now considered as a dark letter day in the history of American democracy.
In the aftermath of the attack and fears of further violence ahead of the inauguration of Biden on Wednesday, there has been a marked military build-up, with thousands of troops stationed in Washington DC, as well as many top government buildings across the 50 state capitals.
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