Condemning deadly attack in Charlottesville, ODIHR Director calls for leaders and authorities to counter racist rhetoric, investigate as possible hate crime, and ensure safety of peaceful demonstrators

16-08-2017, 10:15 | Comments: 0
Condemning deadly attack in Charlottesville, ODIHR Director calls for leaders and authorities to counter racist rhetoric, investigate as possible hate crime, and ensure safety of peaceful demonstratorsIngibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), today condemned the violent attack by a suspected white supremacist in the United States on Saturday that caused one death and injured at least 19 people.

“My first thoughts are with the victims of this heinous crime,” said Director Gísladóttir. “This attack took place in a climate of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic speech, and demonstrates the danger of such intolerant rhetoric becoming the incitement to violent crimes. Political leaders must speak out against such rhetoric in all its forms.”

“The U.S. authorities should also fully investigate possible hate motivations behind this attack, and prosecute it as a hate crime if the evidence supports such a charge,” she added.

One woman was killed and at least 19 injured when the attacker drove his car into their group. The attack followed a rally by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, including individuals carrying firearms and other weapons. A counter-demonstration was met with violence by members of self-described “militias”, and the police were reportedly unable to prevent clashes between the two groups.

“This terrible incident underscores the responsibility of law enforcement and other authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that people can safely exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly,” the ODIHR Director said.

osce.org

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