U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol building as an assault on democratic freedoms and called for a thorough investigation into the events.
Bachelet blamed the attack on a deliberate distortion of facts and incitement to violence and hatred by political leaders. Her spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, said their allegations of electoral fraud are part of an effort to undermine the United States' political process.
Shamdasani said it is gratifying to see that these efforts have not succeeded, however, their destructive impact and the disruption of the democratic process is deeply troubling.
"We call on leaders from across the political spectrum, including the president of the United States, to disavow false and dangerous narratives, and to encourage their supporters to do so as well," she said. "We note with dismay the serious threats and destruction of property faced by media professionals…The free media is indispensable to democracy and attacks on independent media and media workers are assaults on all of us."
Shamdasani said violence against media has been fueled by inciteful language depicting journalists as so-called enemies of the people, and noted the display of white supremacy symbols by rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol was very disturbing.
"We are concerned that some of the protestors were clearly displaying symbols of racial and ethnic hatred and white supremacy including the Confederate flag, clothes displaying anti-semitic logos and a noose erected from across the capitol."
Shamdasani said High Commissioner Bachelet condemns this display of overt racist symbols and is calling on all political leaders to condemn them as well. She called the loss of life, including that of a policeman and four others, very regrettable and says the deaths must be investigated.