UN high commissioner for human rights says a Trump presidency would be “dangerous”

Keep an eye on the demagogue.
Keep an eye on the demagogue.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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Donald Trump can add UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein to the long list of people who really don’t want him to become president.

Concerned with Trump’s remarks on the use of torture and his attacks against African-Americans, Muslims, Mexicans, and women (to name a few), Hussein issues a strong warning about a potential Trump presidency.

“If Donald Trump is elected on the basis of what he has said already—and unless that changes—I think it is without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view,” Hussein said at a news briefing in Geneva on Oct. 12.

Trump has flip-flopped on torture in the past, but seemed to reaffirm his support for the practice a few months ago, telling supporters at an Ohio rally “we have to fight fire with fire.” The Republican nominee has not only praised the use of waterboarding, but also called for a ”hell of a lot worse,” including killing the families of terrorists.

While Hussein didn’t want to interfere with “any political campaign within any particularly country,” he said he felt compelled to say something if an election resulted in the use of torture “or the focus on vulnerable communities in a way that suggests that they may well be deprived of their human rights.”

Last month, the UN commissioner launched a scathing attack against populist leaders, singling out Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, who he branded as “demagogues and political fantasists.” Hussein, who worked as a peacekeeper in the Balkans for 20 years, slammed these politicians for peddling “lies and half-truths,” and warned that an atmosphere “thick with hate” could quickly descend into “colossal violence.”