Freedom House Condemns Terrorist Attack Against UN
Freedom House mourns the shocking murder of U.N. Special Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and several of his colleagues in a terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday.
The attack against the UN compound is also a direct assault on the Iraqi people and the cause of human rights. It should serve to galvanize the international community in pressing forward to ensure freedom for the Iraqi people, Freedom House said.
Sergio Vieira de Mello represented the very best of the United Nations. During his distinguished decades of service as an international civil servant, he worked tirelessly on behalf of refugees and displaced persons, and victims of human rights abuses. His good works, sharp diplomatic skills, and deep and balanced commitment to human rights and freedom culminated in his appointment as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position from which he was on temporary leave to assist in Iraq's reconstruction.
Sadly, Mr. Vieira de Mello was killed by the very forces he forthrightly condemned upon assuming his position as High Commissioner, when he declared: "I say today we must put an end to terrorism. We have the right to live without fear of sudden death, at any place, at any time."
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.