UN human rights experts condemn murder of Sri Lankan aid workers

8 June 2007

Two United Nations experts joined a growing chorus of voices from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon down condemning the recent murder of two workers of the Sri Lankan Red Cross.

Two United Nations experts joined a growing chorus of voices from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon down condemning the recent murder of two workers of the Sri Lankan Red Cross.

“This is another outrageous act in an apparent trend of deliberate targeting of aid workers, which severely jeopardizes and impedes their ability to deliver humanitarian assistance in a secure environment,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, Hina Jilani, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston.

In their statement on the 1 June abduction and murder, the experts urged the Government to expedite its investigation of the killings, pointing out that the 2006 killings of 17 aid workers from Action contre la Faim remain unsolved.

“We urge the Government, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other armed groups to take all measures to protect aid workers and provide a secure and conducive environment to the functioning of humanitarian assistance,” the experts said in their joint statement.

Earlier this week, Mr. Ban condemned the killings, voicing concern about the security of civilians and aid workers in Sri Lanka and reminding “all parties in the country that aid workers have a right to protection at all times,” according to a statement by his spokesperson.

He was joined in this call by UN agencies and their partners working in Sri Lanka, who warned that the latest killings were “an ominous sign of an evolving situation in which aid workers are facing increasing difficulties in delivering assistance to needy populations.”

 

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