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20th January 2017, 08:04:25 UTC

As Donald Trump takes the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States, Amnesty International is pressing him and his administration to protect human rights in the USA and abroad.  In particular, Amnesty International is calling on Trump to protect those affected by armed conflict and crisis, and to uphold protections for human rights defenders.

“As president, Donald Trump must abandon the hateful rhetoric that riddled his campaign and commit to protecting human rights for everyone,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

“We are in the middle of a global humanitarian crisis. There are more people fleeing violence and unrest than at any time since World War II. United States has long welcomed those seeking refuge; indeed it is a country that has been largely founded and built by immigrants and refugees. The United States must also commit to protecting and celebrating those who defend human rights at home and abroad. Attacks on peaceful protesters, prisoners of conscience, journalists, dissidents and minorities cannot be tolerated. Nobody should forfeit their safety for peacefully defending human rights or disagreeing with policies.

“Respect for human rights is a foundational tenet of Ireland’s foreign policy. Ireland’s relationship with the United States should be no different. The Irish government, on behalf of the people of Ireland, must ensure that our bilateral relationship with the United States is based on a shared respect for human rights both domestically and around the world,” said Colm O’Gorman.

Amnesty International has previously expressed concern with Trump’s campaign proposals – including creating a Muslim registry and banning Muslim refugees – and rhetorical attacks on women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTI people, activists, journalists, and critics. The organisation has also called on the president-elect to publicly repudiate the use of torture and to close the detention centre at Guantánamo.

“To President Trump, we say: every day in office, every choice you make will define your legacy. You can choose to leave the world a better place or one in which hatred, fear and discrimination grow stronger. We urge you to condemn hate and protect human rights,” said Colm O’Gorman.

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