Amnesty flays Trump’s ‘poisonous’ rhetoric

Paris, Feb 22 (IANS) Politicians who have used a divisive and dehumanised rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world, says rights group Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s annual report singles out US President Donald Trump as an example of an “angrier and more divisive politics”, NBC News reported.

“Donald Trump’s poisonous campaign rhetoric exemplifies a global trend towards angrier and more divisive politics,” Amnesty said in a statement.

The world, it said, had become a “darker … unstable place”, with a rise in hate speech targeting refugees across Europe and the US.

But Amnesty criticises other leaders as well, including those of Turkey, Hungary and the Philippines, who it says have used narratives of fear, blame and division.

The group said governments were exploiting refugees for political ends.

The report, which covers 159 countries, cited a rise in hate speech across the US and Europe targeting refugees.

It said the reverberations would see more attacks on people on the basis of race, gender, nationality and religion, NBC said.

The rights body criticised countries which, it said, once claimed to champion rights abroad but were now rolling back human rights at home.

“Instead of fighting for people’s rights, too many leaders have adopted a dehumanizing agenda for political expediency,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“The limits of what is acceptable have shifted. Politicians are shamelessly and actively legitimizing all sorts of hateful rhetoric and policies based on people’s identity: misogyny, racism and homophobia.”

The group made special reference to Trump’s executive order last month that banned refugees and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the US.

It said Trump put “his hateful xenophobic pre-election rhetoric” into action by signing the measure.

Amnesty also mentioned Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as leaders who were using the “us versus them” rhetoric.

The group also said in its report:

* Crises with “little political will” to address them including in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Central America, Central African Republic, Burundi, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan.

* Indifference to war crimes has become an “entrenched normality” given a paralysis of the UN Security Council due to rivalries between permanent members.

* The US, UK, Russia and European countries continue to sell arms despite evidence of them being used in war crimes and other rights violations.

–IANS

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