Trump, Duterte top contenders for being human rights offenders

By , on February 22, 2017

Photo: Amnesty International/
Photo: Amnesty International/

London-based organization Amnesty International released its 408-page annual report on human rights abuses in Paris on Wednesday.

The report called “The State of the World’s Human Rights” documented grave human rights violations in 159 countries in 2016.

In the report, 2016 was described as “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- the time Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany”.

Amnesty named Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Duterte among leaders that are noted for “wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people”.

Amnesty said that Trump’s “poisonous” rhetoric during his election campaign exemplified the “global trend of angrier and divisive politics”.

“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 first target has been refugees and, if this continues in 2017, others will be in the crosshairs.”

“Even states that once claimed to champion rights abroad are now too busy rolling back human rights at home to hold others to account,” Amnesty said. “The more countries backtrack on fundamental human rights commitments, the more we risk a domino effect of leaders emboldened to knock back established human rights protections.”

The organization cited France when it used its emergency powers and committed abusive and discriminatory actions in the aftermath of the Paris attacks targeted towards Muslims in 2015.

France had previously defended its decision on wielding emergency powers and claimed that the action was well justified and was in favor of public interest and safety.