Trump's travel ban emboldened 'politics of hate': Amnesty

Trump's travel ban emboldened 'politics of hate': Amnesty
In its annual report, Amnesty International said US President Donald Trump's policies on immigration and refugees set the trend for "politics of hate" which has emboldened human rights abuses worldwide.
2 min read
22 February, 2018
Amnesty slammed the US president's "transparently hateful" travel ban [Getty]
The "politics of demonisation" provided fertile ground for human rights abuses in 2017, exemplified by the response of Europe and the US under Donald Trump to the refugee crisis, rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday in its annual report.

The UK-based group slammed the US president's "transparently hateful" executive order banning entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.

"Throughout 2017, millions across the world experienced the bitter fruits of a rising politics of demonisation," said the report.

It accused leaders of wealthy countries of approaching the refugee crisis "with a blend of evasion and outright callousness". 

"Most European leaders have been unwilling to grapple with the big challenge of regulating migration safely and legally, and have decided that practically nothing is off limits in their efforts to keep refugees away from the continent's shores," it added.

Read more: Comment: Travel ban 3.0 still doesn't conceal Trump's anti-Muslim bias

Amnesty Secretary-General Salil Shetty singled out Trump for criticism, saying the travel ban "set the scene for a year in which leaders took the politics of hate to its most dangerous conclusion".

He also condemned his decision to keep the US camp at Guantanamo Bay on Cuba open, and his ambivalent attitude to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.

"You can imagine what this means for governments across the world who are extensively using torture," he said.

He noted that US attitudes had an impact across the world.

Tirana Hassan, director of crisis response at Amnesty International, said: "When it comes to conflict, crisis and mass atrocities we have seen zero moral or legal leadership coming from the international community."

Last month, rights watchdog Freedom House also criticised Trump for declining human rights worldwide, saying that the US leader's "admiration" for "some of the world's most loathsome strongmen and dictators" contributed to emboldening authoritarian regimes.

Amnesty's report also touched on Myanmar's military crackdown on Rohingya insurgents, saying the exodus of nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighbouring Bangladesh was the "ultimate consequence of a society encouraged to hate, scapegoat and fear minorities".

"This episode will stand in history as yet another testament to the world's catastrophic failure to address conditions that provide fertile ground for mass atrocity crimes," said the report.