UN Chief ‘appalled’ by ‘racist’ killing in NY state’s black-dominated area: Spokesman
The UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet has expressed shock over Israeli authorities’ use of force at the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and called for a prompt and transparent probe into her killing.
UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the shooting deaths of 10 people at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in New York State, his spokesman said Sunday.
The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, who is white, live-streamed the attack, which was carried out at a Tops supermarket in the city of buffalo. Most of the victims were African American.
The UN chief was appalled by this “vile act of racist violent extremism”, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms racism in all its forms and discrimination based on race, religion, belief or national origin. We must all work together towards building more peaceful and inclusive societies,” he said.
The UN chief extended his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and hoped that justice will be served swiftly. The gunman was arrested following a stand-off with the police. The incident marked the deadliest mass shooting in the United States this year.
It follows other recent racist massacres, including the June 2015 murder of nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the October 2018 attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which 11 people were killed and six wounded. Meanwhile, The UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet has expressed shock over Israeli authorities’ use of force at the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and called for a prompt and transparent probe into her killing.
“I am following with deep distress events in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem,” Ms. Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement on Saturday.
Her call for a transparent probe comes in the wake of the killing of Ms. Abu Akleh, the correspondent for Al-Jazeera, who was fatally shot on Wednesday while covering an Israeli raid in Israeli-occupied West Bank.
She was buried in East Jerusalem on Friday and huge crowds turned out for her funeral.
The High Commissioner issued a statement saying she was following “with deep distress” the events in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
“Footage of Israeli police attacking mourners at the funeral procession of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in East Jerusalem on Friday 13 May was shocking. Reports indicate that at least 33 people were injured,” she said.
Ms. Bachelet said the Israeli use of force, which was being filmed and broadcast live, appeared to be unnecessary and must be promptly and transparently investigated.
“There must be accountability for the terrible killing not just of Shireen Abu Akleh but for all the killings and serious injuries in the occupied Palestinian territory,” she said.
The UN rights chief reported that 48 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces so far this year.
The latest death occurred on Saturday when a young man called Walid al-Sharif, succumbed to injuries sustained during clashes last month at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
“As I have called for many times before, there must be appropriate investigations into the actions of Israeli security forces,” Ms. Bachelet said.
“Anyone found responsible should be held to account with penal and disciplinary sanctions commensurate to the gravity of the violation. This culture of impunity must end now.”
The killing of Ms. Abu Akleh has sent shockwaves across the globe, and UN officials have been among those calling for an investigation.
The journalist was shot even though she wore a vest that identified her as a member of the press corps. Her producer also was wounded.
The UN Security Council issued a statement on Friday strongly condemning her killing, reiterating that journalists should be protected as civilians.
The Council also called for an immediate, thorough, transparent, and fair and impartial investigation into her killing, and stressed the need to ensure accountability.
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