Demand that Theresa May raises human rights with President Trump
It’s been a rollercoaster of a week. It was never going to be otherwise. As Donald Trump fulfils some of his manifesto promises and tramples over the rights of people around the world in the process, we need our Prime Minister to commit to standing up for those rights when she visits him tomorrow.
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In his first six days as president, Mr Trump’s actions have caused widespread fear of an erosion for human rights in the USA and beyond.
Mrs May will be the first foreign leader to meet with President Trump – this is a unique opportunity to influence the policy and approach of his administration.
Here are three key human rights issues we want Mrs May to raise during her visit with him:
Last Saturday, an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets of London for the Women’s March, joining millions across the world in an incredible demonstration for women’s rights and human rights.
Just two days later, President Trump decided to put the rights of women at risk by reinstating the ‘global gag rule’, jeopardising millions of women and girls’ access to safe terminations and impartial advice on reproductive health.
Prime Minster May must use her position to speak truth to the president on behalf of women and girls across the world.
Refugees and migrants
With the world in the midst a global refugee crisis, Theresa May should remind President Trump that it’s necessary for rich Western nations like the USA to take more responsibility for sheltering those fleeing violence and persecution.
If the USA backtracks on its commitments, it will set a terrible example which other countries may follow – leading to serious implications for the plight of refugees worldwide.
President Trump’s intention keep Guantánamo Bay detention centre open and even take new detainees to the base is well known. UK citizens have themselves been incarcerated and allegedly tortured at the camp, and Mrs May should voice her opposition to any extension of the life of America’s most notorious prison.
In his first televised interview, Mr Trump said he believed waterboarding works. Apart from the horror of half-drowning, terrified people who may have been subjected to a whole range of other abuse, there is absolutely no evidence that torture is in any way effective. Quite the opposite: people will say anything to make the pain stop.
Theresa May must be strong in telling the president: we must never return to the use of waterboarding and other torture.
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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.