Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A special group of independent United Nations rights experts issued a letter Monday calling the Jan. 6 violence in the U.S. Capitol "a shocking and incendiary event."
More than 20 independent reporters for the U.N. called for "solidarity with the American people who stand for democracy, equality and the rule of law at this critical moment," in a statement issued Monday.
The observers condemned what they called a "violent attempt" to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
"We stand with the 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," the letter said.
In the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol, the U.N.'s peace and security experts noted that fears of further violence ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Biden on Wednesday, have led to a military build-up, with thousands of troops stationed in Washington, D.C., along with government buildings across the 50 state capitals.
Monday's letter urged the U.S. government, private sector and other groups to make sure that international human rights standards were followed when holding Capitol rioters accountable, including considering freedom of expression and due process of law.
"We maintain our hope that the US 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," the letter added.
Independent experts from the "special procedures" body in the U.N. Human rights system conduct independent fact-finding and monitoring in troubled nations around the world.