IGOHR Strongly Condemns the Series of Shocking Terrorist Attacks in Middle East and Europe

IGOHR Strongly Condemns the Series of Shocking Terrorist Attacks in Middle East and Europe 22 December 2016

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (IGOHR) vehemently denounces all the series of terrorist attacks that took place in the Middle East and Europe – Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Germany and Switzerland– that shock the world. The organization expresses its complete disapproval of all forms of violence and terrorism and considers these criminal acts targeting security personnel, high diplomat officials and innocent civilians are unacceptable and incompatible with human right principles, ethical and human values such as peace, harmony and tolerance.

The first incident took place in Aden, southern Yemen where a suicide bomber killed 48 soldiers and wounded 84 others as they queued to receive salaries closed to a military base. The second ensued in the popular tourist city of Karak, southern Jordan; during which ten individuals were killed – including seven security personnel, three civilians – and at least 34 others were seriously injured. The third criminal act of violence happened in Turkey, in which an off-duty Turkish police officer publicly assassinated Russia’s ambassador to Turkey -  Andrey Karlov – while he spoke at an embassy-sponsored art exhibition in Ankara. The assailant called for revenge for the carnage of civilians in Allepo, Syria. The fourth shocking terrorist attack occurred an hour later in Germany where a truck driver ran into a crowd of shoppers on the sidewalks in a Christmas market in Berlin. At least 12 people were killed and about 45 others were wounded in the incident. In Zurich, Swiss, an unidentified gunman open fire on a group worshipers in a mosque wounding three.

IGOHR strongly condemns all these heinous crimes of terror and reiterates that all forms of terrorism undermine the rule of law, peace, tolerance as well as political stability in any country and most seriously it threatens international peace and security. IGOHR further stresses that terrorist attacks targeting diplomatic and security personnel for whatever reason is a serious assault on the rights of all diplomats and security forces to safely and peacefully advance and represent their nations around the world. It is equally a blatant violation of their fundamental human rights as highlighted in several international peace treaties, conventions and international counter-terrorism legal instruments. In the 1994 Declaration on the Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism Acts, all Member States of the UN views “all acts, methods and practices of terrorism” as “a grave violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, which may pose a threat to international peace and security, jeopardize friendly relations among States, hinder international cooperation and aim at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the democratic bases of society.” It also demands that those responsible for carrying out acts of international terrorism must be brought to justice

IGOHR also highlights the fact that the recent terrorist attacks are as a result and an extension of the ongoing armed conflicts in the Middle East. And if necessary measures are not taken urgently to resolve the wars engulfing the region, the recent series of attacks may further exacerbate the already precarious situation. For example, the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey could cause the collapse of the latest ceasefire deal in Aleppo, or lead to renewed fighting elsewhere in Syria. Hence, IGOHR is calling on the United Nations including members of the Security Council and international bodies to do whatever they can with the powers vested on them and develop strategies and ways to end the conflicts and wars in the Middle East especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Additionally, IGOHR emphasizes that it is imperative for UN Member States to further strengthen international cooperation between them and adopt practical and effective measures to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of terrorism that affects the international community as a whole.

IGOHR likewise expresses its deepest sympathy and extend its sincere condolences to the families of martyrs of the security officers and diplomat as well as to the Jordanian and Russian government and people.  It also wishes a speedy recovery to those injured or seriously affected.