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Trump ‘profound threat’ to human rights: HRW

13 January 2017 14:34



Human Rights Watch has described the election of Donald Trump and the rise of populist leaders in Europe as a “profound threat” to basic human rights.

Trump and other “demagogues” were undermining democracy and the rule of law, the US-based advocacy group warned in its annual report on threats to human rights released on Thursday.

It was the first time in the 27 years the charity has been conducting these surveys that the US was criticized as one of the biggest threats.

Human Rights Watch singled out Trump for criticism because of his controversial presidential campaign which saw the real estate tycoon attack immigrants, dismiss allegations of sexual assault, support the use of torture and ban Muslims from entering the US.

The report said Trump’s campaign, marked by “misogynistic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric,” was a “vivid illustration of the politics of intolerance.”

The Republican president-elect’s policies “would cause tremendous harm to vulnerable communities, contravene the United States’ core human rights obligations, or both,” it added.

The group further accused the billionaire businessman of “fomenting hatred and intolerance” and violating “basic principles of dignity and equality.”

“Trump and various politicians in Europe seek power through appeals to racism, xenophobia, misogyny and nativism,” Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in an introduction to the report. “The rise of populism poses a profound threat to human rights.”

“They all claim that the public accepts violations of human rights as supposedly necessary to secure jobs, avoid cultural change, or prevent terrorist attacks. In fact, disregard for human rights offers the likeliest route to tyranny.”

Roth urged voters around the world to try to stop authoritarian politicians and “demand a politics based on truth and the values on which rights-respecting democracy is built.”

Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20 amid concerns over the impact his presidency will have on minority groups in the country.

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