Global Rights Group Accuses Trump, Others of ‘Politics of Demonization’

By Patrick Goodenough | February 22, 2017 | 4:24pm EST
(Image: Amnesty International)

(CNSNews.com) – A leading human rights group has accused President Trump and other “anti-establishment” politicians of “wield[ing] politics of demonization that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people to win the support of voters.”

“Donald Trump’s poisonous campaign rhetoric exemplifies a global trend towards

angrier and more divisive politics,” Amnesty International said in a new annual report covering 159 countries and territories.

“Across the world, leaders and politicians wagered their future power on narratives of fear and disunity, pinning blame on the ‘other’ for the real or manufactured grievances of the electorate,” it added.

The group offered a gloomy outlook on the state of the world.

“The world in 2016 became a darker and more unstable place,” Amnesty International secretary-general Salil Shetty wrote in the report’s foreword. “The reality is that we begin 2017 in a deeply unstable world full of trepidation and uncertainty about the future.”

In a statement, Shetty named Trump, Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the provocatively outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and Hungary’s right wing prime minister Viktor Orban as politicians who he said demonize and dehumanize entire groups.

“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs. them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s,” he said. That was the decade the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, leading to World War II.

“Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes,” added Shetty, an Indian activist who has headed the organization since 2010.

Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang also weighed in, saying that “President Trump’s policies have brought the U.S. to a level of human rights crisis that we haven’t seen in years.”

“As the world braces itself for a new executive order, thousands of people inside and outside of U.S. borders have had their lives thrown into chaos as a result of the president’s travel ban,” she added.

The reference was to Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order, which barred entry to the U.S. of all refugees for 120 days and refugees from Syria indefinitely; as well as to all citizens of seven countries carrying a high terrorism risk – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen – for 90 days.

Amid protests, federal courts issued temporary stays on enforcement of the order. The administration is preparing to issue what Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly described as a “more streamlined version.”

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