IGOHR Strongly Denounce the Suicide Explosion that Claimed 22 lives in Manchester, UK

IGOHR Strongly Denounce the Suicide Explosion that Claimed 22 lives in Manchester, UK 23 May 2017

 

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (IGOHR) condemns in its strongest terms the suicide bomb explosion that took place in a concert at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK that claimed the lives of at least 22 people including children.  IGOHR reckons that such a horrific attack is aim at creating fear and terror among a peaceful democratic society and is unacceptable under international human rights standards.

The recent terrorist incident occurred few moments after the end of a concert at Manchester Arena by Ariana Grande. According to police statements, the terror attack was carried out by a lone male suicide bomber who used an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing so much casualties. The perpetrator died on the scene but investigations are ongoing to find out if he was part of a network of terrorists who may have plotted the attack. The suicide explosion killed at least 22 persons who were attending the concert including children and more than 59 others were severely injured by the blast.

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights vehemently denounces this terrorist attack and reiterates that terrorism is an instrument used by terrorists – individuals or groups with negative political or social agendas – to spread fear by the way of using violence. The impact of terrorism is enormous and it can be very high on society, relationships between communities and on the economy.

IGOHR equally affirms that terrorism has a direct impact on human rights, with devastating consequences for the enjoyment of the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of victims. These rights and freedoms are embodied in several international human rights treaties such as the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These rights and freedoms are supposed to be enjoyed by all the 22 civilians killed in the Manchester Arena suicide explosion. Hence, the terror incident is a blatant violation of the rights of these persons as stated in these covenants and conventions.

In addition to these individual costs, terrorism can destabilize governments, undermine civil society, threatens social and economic development in the country as well as threatens international peace and security. It equally violates the rule of law and international humanitarian principles and values. All of these also have a real negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights. Thus, IGOHR stresses that there is a great need for a unified global effort in combating and countering terrorism right from its roots so as to ensure that all humans enjoy their basic rights and freedoms wherever they are.

Furthermore, under international and regional human rights laws, States have the legal responsibility and obligations to protect their citizens and individuals within their jurisdiction from terrorist attacks. This implies that States have the general duty and right to take counter-terrorism measures to deter and prevent violent activities that will impede individuals within their territory from enjoying their fundamental rights more especially the right to life and the right to security. According to the 1997 Terrorist Convention any person commits a terrorist offense if he or she unlawfully and intentionally uses a lethal device against a person or group in a place of public use with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury with the aim to compel or coerce a government or an international organization to do something.  The convention mandates State parties to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for such terrifying acts.

IGOHR therefore calls on the British government to thoroughly investigate the terror attack at the Manchester Arena and to hold accountable the organizers and financers of this horrifying incident. IGOHR also urges the British government and its counter-terrorist policing network to improve on their efforts in preventing and protecting people from such violent attacks of terror so that they can enjoy their basic human rights. The British government should adopt counter-terrorism measures that fosters the respect of human rights for all and the rule of law as well as in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law. These measures should seek to end terrorism rather than strengthening it.

IGOHR further calls on the regional bodies in Europe and the international community represented by the United Nations and the UN Security Council to take concrete measures to combat global terrorism that is ravaging the entire world. There need to be global concerted efforts to develop a comprehensive framework to counter terrorism through knowledge sharing, security and military strategies and through academic research.  IGOHR equally expresses its sincere sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, the UK government and the entire British population as well as wishes a quick recovery to all those injured in the attack.