Trump inspired 2017's global politics of hate, says Amnesty International

His travel ban "set the scene for a year in which leaders took the politics of hate to its most dangerous conclusion.”

by Tim Hume
Feb 22 2018, 3:25pm

Donald Trump is a major global threat to human rights, according to a new report from Amnesty International that lists the U.S. president alongside autocratic leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The report, titled “The State of the World’s Human Rights,” singles out Trump for a range of reasons, from his so-called Muslim travel ban to the push for a border wall with Mexico, and the “global gag rule” stripping funding from organizations operating overseas that have anything to do with abortion.

Amnesty Secretary-General Salil Shetty said in a statement that Trump’s Muslim ban had set the tone for the hateful rhetoric that flourished globally in 2017.

“The transparently hateful move by the U.S. government in January to ban entry to people from several Muslim-majority countries set the scene for a year in which leaders took the politics of hate to its most dangerous conclusion,” he said, singling out the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar as the most extreme manifestation of the trend.

“The specters of hatred and fear now loom large in world affairs, and we have few governments standing up for human rights in these disturbing times. Instead, leaders such as al-Sisi, Duterte, Maduro, Putin, Trump and Xi are callously undermining the rights of millions.”

The report criticized the tendency of world leaders to adopt Trump’s signature cry of “fake news” to attempt to dismiss criticism, and slammed them for their “feeble response” to global humanitarian crises.

But the group saw some positive signs in the rise of a new wave of social activism, singling out citizen-led movements such as the Women’s March, and the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment.

"2017 showed us what happens when people amass in great numbers to say they will not accept the injustices they face," Shetty told reporters at a Washington news conference Wednesday ahead of the report's launch.

“There's no better example of that than what we've seen with the kids in this country standing up against gun violence in the last few days," he said, in reference to the survivors of the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida.

The report, which summarises the human rights landscape in 159 countries, also highlighted major areas of concern including war crimes and crimes against humanity" in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan; crackdowns on LGBT communities in Chechnya and Egypt; Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines; and assaults on women’s rights in the U.S., Russia, and Poland.

This article originally appeared on VICE News US.