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article imageUN refugee chief: Toxic language of politics led to Christchurch

By AFP     Apr 9, 2019 in World

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi on Tuesday blamed the "toxic language of politics" targeting refugees, migrants and foreigners for the Christchurch mosque attack.

Grandi told the Security Council he had never in his three decades of work at the United Nations seen "such toxicity, such poison" in the language of politics and in media targeting foreigners.

"That should be of concern to us all. What we have seen in Christchurch, New Zealand is the result also of that toxic language of politics," he said.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the world should "take a leaf from New Zealand's exemplary response" to the March 15 attack that killed 50 Muslim worshipers.

A 28-year-old Australian, Brenton Tarrant, faces 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges over the shootings at two mosques, which shocked the world and rattled normally peaceful New Zealand.

Grandi praised New Zealand for reaffirming that "our societies won't really be prosperous if they do not include all."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called the mosque killings a well-planned "terrorist attack" and taken immediate steps to tighten the country's gun laws.

Ardern was praised for her compassionate response after she donned the hijab and met with devastated families from the attack.

The government in Wellington has also said it will review laws dealing with hate speech and called for social media giants to do more to combat online extremism.

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