Voicing shock and sadness, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today denounced the brutal execution of Margaret Hassan, head of the CARE International office in Iraq who was taken hostage last month.
Mr. Annan "condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeting of humanitarian aid workers and organizations and reiterates that such acts are indefensible," said a statement issued by his spokesman.
Ms. Hassan, an aid worker in Iraq for more than 25 years before her abduction on 19 October, devoted her life to helping the Iraqi people, the statement said.
Under the direction of Ms. Hassan, who had acquired Iraqi citizenship, CARE International had become a close partner of the United Nations, particularly the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in alleviating the needs of the Iraqi people.
"The work of Ms. Hassan in Iraq will be remembered by all in Iraq and beyond as an example of human solidarity," the statement said. "The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms. Hassan. He shares their grief and sorrow."