In a statement to the press on behalf of the members, Council President Jean-David Levitte of France called the incidents in New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere “a tragedy for – and a challenge to – all humanity.””Members of the Security Council call on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of today’s outrages,” said Ambassador Levitte. “They call on the international community to redouble its efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts by increased cooperation and full implementation of relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Security Council resolutions.”Council members expressed their readiness to take urgent action in response, and extended their deepest sympathy to the victims, their families and the Government and people of the United States.Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, voiced her “deep revulsion at the horrific event.””The callous and barbaric actions of those who perpetrated these crimes are indefensible and could never be justified,” she said in a statement released in Geneva.The High Commissioner said the actions “strike at the fundamental human rights of every person and are totally unacceptable.”Urging a period of calm, Mrs. Robinson said, “The best tribute we can pay to those who lost their lives today and to their grieving family and friends is to ensure that justice, and not revenge, is served.”
“I am deeply disturbed by reports that more than 20 people, including an 11-year-old boy, have died and hundreds have been arrested during the recent wave of protests in Iran,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in a separate statement that urged the authorities to investigate all deaths and serious injuries that have occurred so far. He said the Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life, and guarantee their safety and security. Calling for thorough, independent and impartial investigations of all acts of violence that have taken place, the UN rights chief said there must be a concerted effort by the authorities “to ensure that all security forces respond in a manner that is proportionate and strictly necessary, and fully in line with international law.”Mr. Zeid stressed that Iranian citizens who take to the streets to express their discontent have a right to be heard, and that the issues they raise should be resolved through dialogue, with full respect for freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly. “It is incumbent on the authorities that their actions do not provoke a downward spiral of violence, as occurred in 2009,” he warned. “The authorities must take all steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”The High Commissioner urged the authorities to release from detention any protestors who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, or penalized in any way, for expressing their views and protesting in a peaceful manner. “Peaceful protests must not be criminalized,” he said. “They are a legitimate part of the democratic process.”Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday deplored the loss of life in the wave of protests in Iran and said that further violence must be avoided.A statement issued by a UN spokesperson said the Secretary-General is following with concern recent developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “He urges respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and that any demonstrations take place in a peaceful manner. Further violence must be avoided,” the statement said.