UN's top human rights official 'outraged' by terrorist attacks in Casablanca

17 May 2003

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today joined UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in deploring the recent terrorist attacks which rocked Casablanca.

Sergio Vieira de Mello was "outraged and saddened" to learn that terrorist bombings killed dozens of people last night in Casablanca, according to a statement released to the press. Emphasizing that there is no excuse for such acts, he observed that "terrorism is aimed at nothing more than the destruction of our most basic and cherished human rights, chief among them the right to life."

"Such wanton violence will only reinforce international determination to counter terrorism," the High Commissioner pledged.

Calling for a redoubling of collective efforts to combat this scourge, the High Commissioner said terrorists must be "found, prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law." He urged religious, political and community leaders around the world to "demonstrate courage in sending, loudly and clearly, the unequivocal message that no motivation or grievance can justify the shedding of innocent blood."

Mr. Vieira de Mello also called tolerance and respect for the dignity of all human beings "the best vaccine" against hatred and violence.

Through the statement, the High Commissioner extended his sympathy to Morocco and to the families of the victims.


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