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Trump's foreign trip could lead to further erosion in human rights

Donald Trump is making his first foreign trip as president © Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

‘The world will be watching as President Trump meets with leaders of other states with records of trampling on human rights’ - Margaret Huang

As Donald Trump prepares to take his first foreign trip as US President, Amnesty International is warning of a further erosion of human rights in the trip’s host countries and beyond if “security” is prioritised at the expense of basis rights such as freedom of expression and the right to peacefully protest.

Ahead of President Trump’s nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe - to Saudi Arabia on Saturday and Sunday, Israel on Monday, Belgium on Thursday (NATO Summit), and Italy on Saturday 27 May (G7 Summit, Sicily) - the Saudi leader King Salman has reportedly talked of the meeting with Mr Trump as an opportunity to “establish a new partnership in confronting extremism and terrorism”.

Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, said:

“We fear this ‘new partnership’ could lay the foundation for further erosion of human rights in the region and far beyond.

“The world will be watching as President Trump meets with leaders of other states with records of trampling on human rights in the name of national security.”


Amnesty has documented the impact of President Trump’s cruel and inhuman policies towards refugees in the four months of his presidency and these have also been criticised by Pope Francis, who Trump will meet in Vatican City on 24 May

Margaret Huang added:

“President Trump will also meet with leaders of countries who are hosting huge numbers of refugees from Syria. They must use the opportunity to voice their concerns about Trump’s attempts to slam the door on people fleeing violence and persecution, and demand that the USA does its fair share to alleviate the global refugee crisis.”

Human rights talking points

Amnesty International spokespeople are available to comment on:

*President Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban 

*The USA’s continued supply of weapons and military assistance to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, despite credible information that these are being used to commit or facilitate war crimes and other serious violations in Yemen

*Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record, which includes the persecution and brutal punishment of human rights activists and critics, and systematic discrimination against women 

*Saudi Arabia’s use of counter-terrorism legislation to crush dissent  

*The potential human rights implications of President Trump’s quest for the “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

*Israel’s continued construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in violation of international law 


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