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Human Rights Watch Calls Trump and European Populists Human Rights Threats

© Flickr / Gage SkidmoreDonald Trump
Donald Trump - Sputnik International
Human Rights Watch calls US President-elect Donald Trump and several other high-profile world leaders threats to human rights in its 2017 World Report.

"Donald Trump's election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence of political parties in Europe that reject universal rights, have put the postwar human rights system at risk," the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization said in announcing the new report on its website January 13.

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The organization also cautions the world to be on guard against tyranny in the wake of populist victories.

The 687-page report covers human rights issues in more than 90 countries, but the US and Trump came in for specific mention in Roth's introductory essay, "The Dangerous Rise of Populism," where he argues that Trump rose to victory by using the "politics of intolerance."

"The rise of populism poses a profound threat to human rights," HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth said, as quoted on the organization's website. "Trump and various politicians in Europe seek power through appeals to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and nativism. They all claim that the public accepts violations of human rights as supposedly necessary to secure jobs, avoid cultural change, or prevent terrorist attacks. In fact, disregard for human rights offers the likeliest route to tyranny."

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In the report's section on the US, HRW says the soon-to-be US president embraces "policies that would cause tremendous harm to vulnerable communities, contravene the United States' core human rights obligations, or both."

Also highlighted were "strongman leaders in Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, and China" who the organization says have substituted their personal authority for accountable government and the rule of law.

On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama were cited in the report as leaders who occasionally offered a "vigorous defense" against the "populist surge."

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