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UN Experts Urge US to Respond to Capitol Attack With 'Renewed Commitment to Peaceful Pluralism,' Strengthened Democracy

"We maintain our hope that the U.S. democracy will emerge strengthened from this crisis without damage to its institutions."

Supporters of President Donald Trump rampage through the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of President Donald Trump rampage through the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

United Nations human rights experts on Monday denounced the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, wherein a right-wing mob—inspired by the lies about electoral fraud told by outgoing President Donald Trump and repeated by many Republican Party lawmakers—stormed the halls of Congress during the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

Characterizing the January 6 attack as a "violent attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election," nearly two dozen U.N. experts described the day's events as "shocking and incendiary."

In their statement, the experts "strongly affirm and express our solidarity with the American people who stand for democracy, equality, and the rule of law at this critical moment."

They also criticized the "incitement to violence and hatred online and offline," and said there must be accountability. 

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The group reiterated its support for "democratic outcomes of the recent elections and urge political leaders to do everything in their power to de-escalate tensions and unify the country in full respect for democracy and the rule of law."

"Notwithstanding the urgent need to tackle political violence of any kind," the experts wrote, "we urge the U.S. government, the private sector, civil society, and other groups to ensure that their responses are consistent with international human rights standards, including the freedom of expression and due process of the law."

"We maintain our hope that the U.S. democracy will emerge strengthened from this crisis without damage to its institutions and with renewed commitment to peaceful pluralism, rule of law, and democratic governance," they added.

The experts include U.N. special rapporteurs on a variety of issues, including: human rights; housing; food; environment; extrajudicial violence; torture and cruelty; forced disappearances; judicial independence; civil rights and anti-discrimination; and civil liberties, including freedoms to speech, press, and peaceful assembly. 

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