(Issued in the form received from the Office of the Special Representative. )
NEW YORK, 14 July (Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict) — Olara A. Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict expressed outrage at the burning to death over the weekend of three brothers — Jason, 7; Mark, 9; and Richard Quinn, 10 — in their home in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. The three brothers were asleep when their home was firebombed in an apparent sectarian attack. The brothers were burned alive.
I cannot condemn too strongly this horrendous act, Mr. Otunnu said. “This is an abomination. No political or religious cause can justify the slaughter of innocent and defenceless children. “Mr. Otunnu called on all political, religious and community leaders in Northern Ireland to repudiate the heinous crime. He also urged them to repudiate the demonization of the “other community” and the orchestration of hate campaigns which set the scene for such atrocities.
The targeting of children for atrocities and abuse violates all international humanitarian and human rights standards. In particular, Mr. Otunnu appealed for respect for the principles and provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr. Otunnu expressed his sympathy and condolences to the family and relatives of the Quinn brothers.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict serves as an international advocate for children affected by conflict, promoting their rights, protection and welfare worldwide.