19/05/2003
Press Release
HR/4669



HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OUTRAGED BY TERRORIST ATTACKS IN CASABLANCA


(Reissued as received.)


GENEVA, 17 May (UN Information Service) -- Following is a statement issued today by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello:


The High Commissioner for Human Rights was outraged and saddened to learn that terrorist bombings killed dozens of people last night in Casablanca, Morocco.  He extends his deepest sympathy to the families of the deceased and the wounded, and to his Majesty the King and his Government of Morocco.


As the High Commissioner has repeatedly stated, there is no excuse for such acts.  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.


It is imperative that we redouble our collective efforts to combat this scourge, the High Commissioner continued.  Terrorists must be found, prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.  Religious, political and community leaders around the world must continue to demonstrate courage in sending, loudly and clearly, the unequivocal message that no motivation or grievance can justify the shedding of innocent blood.  In so doing, they will encourage tolerance and respect for the dignity of all human beings, cornerstones of our hard fought-for human rights.  This is the best vaccine against hatred and blind violence.


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