News comment: UNHCR’s Grandi expresses shock following massacre of innocent worshipers in New Zealand

United Nations Refugees Chief Filippo Grandi on the massacre of innocent worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It is with great sadness that I have heard the news of the horrific attacks against two mosques which took place today in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 49 people are believed to have been killed. I offer my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the people of New Zealand. I share my solidarity with them in their grief and sorrow.

While many uncertainties remain, it appears that this act of terror was motivated by hatred and fear of others, and that among those killed are refugees and migrants. This is deeply shocking. At a time of growing hostility towards diversity, the humanity the authorities and people of New Zealand have shown in their response is truly laudable.

My colleagues and I at UNHCR stand by New Zealand – a country which has generously given refuge to people fleeing conflict and persecution, and whose citizens warmly welcomed them into their towns and cities.