Amnesty International sees the risk of xenophobic speech against human rights as spreading

  • Esteban Beltrán, Head Officer of Amnesty International, presenting the report at the press conference. Photo: AI

    Esteban Beltrán, Head Officer of Amnesty International, presenting the report at the press conference. Photo: AI

  • Amnesty International Logo. Photo: AI

    Amnesty International Logo. Photo: AI

  • Demonstration asking for respect to human rights in Melbourne. Photo: Takver, Flickr

    Demonstration asking for respect to human rights in Melbourne. Photo: Takver, Flickr

The international organisation has published its Annual Report for 2016/2017, with particular emphasis on hate speech, which it claims could give rise to fear and division.

Amnesty International has published its annual report on global trends and the human rights situation in 159 countries. Among the report’s most important conclusions is the claim that powerful countries are going back on their commitments to human rights, examples of these being the United States, Hungary, Turkey and the Philippines-, increasing the risk of spreading the xenophobic beliefs that fuel these strategic shifts. The 2016/2017Annual Report stresses that policies which “demonise the other engender fear and division ", which at the same time creates a more dangerous and dehumanised world.

The report on the "Global Human Rights situation" has concluded that there has been a worldwide decline in human rights, which dangerously weakens global responsiveness to mass atrocities. "Divisive alarmism has become a dangerous force in world affairs. Whether it is Trump, Orbán, Erdoğan or Duterte, there are more and more politicians who call themselves antiestablishment and who have a toxic agenda that persecutes, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people" claims the organisation.

The report emphasises that for the first time in 30 years there has been a huge escalation of hate speech and discourses of blame and fear used in a “cynical” way.". According to Amnesty’s claims, the current policy of demonization spreads the idea that some people are less human than others. A clear example of this trend would be the rhetoric that Donald Trump used to win the election campaign against Hilary Clinton, the tycoon’s hate-filled words helping his speech to take centre stage.

In addition to the United States, other countries such as China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Thailand and Turkey have also carried out large-scale repression campaigns, as highlighted in the report. The case of France is also appropriate, given that for example as a result of terror attacks the state of emergency has been extended, becoming an intrusive security measure for French citizens.

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