"What is happening in the United States now has not been there for many years, not under Democratic, not under Republican presidents. But part of the problem, in particular Guantanamo, was not invented by Trump," Anna Neistat, senior director for research at the Amnesty International human rights watchdog said, referring to a detention camp established by then US President George W. Bush's administration in 2002.
Governments had a chance to do things differently. But they didn’t. So you called for freedom, equality and dignity, making change possible. This is the story of #humanrights in 2017.— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) 22 февраля 2018 г.
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Trump's presidency did worsen problems like violence in prisons and the illegal use of weapons by the police but has not been the root cause, Neistat stressed.
"We see that [Trump] is not ready to take any steps to solve this [Guantanamo] problem… or the problem of violence in prisons, the problem with police using weapons — in many cases illegally. All these problems that his presidency has aggravated, but did not introduce," Neistat said.
"We do not compare the right to carry arms with the right to life, but nevertheless, we have to remember that the right to carry arms is specifically American, it is anchored in the Constitution and is not related to international human rights. The right to life is protected by the international system of human rights, part of which is the United States. So, we do not talk about actions made by individuals, we talk about state system, which allows these actions to take lives of other people," Neistat said.
The Amnesty International report, released on Friday, also slammed the Trump administration's bid to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border; and decisions to end several programs for immigrants, such as the Central American Minors program that allowed children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to request refugee status, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation.