UNITED NATIONS: The UN rights chief took a swipe at US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump Friday, accusing him of exploiting fear and resorting to bigotry in campaigning that he warned was a “road to violence.”
Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein delivered the blunt criticism in a speech at a university in Cleveland, Ohio, where Republicans will gather in July to choose their White House nominee.
Trump aide meets with lawmakers, says on ‘glide path’ to nomination
Over the past months, Trump has promised to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to keep out migrants and to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“Bigotry is not proof of strong leadership,” said Zeid, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Hate speech, incitement and marginalization of the ‘other’ are not a tittering form of entertainment, or a respectable vehicle for political profit,” he said.
“To casually toss this gasoline on the smoldering embers of fear is to risk great harm to a great nation. Discrimination is a powerful and profoundly destructive force.”
Zeid did not refer to Trump by name but he deplored the “frontrunning candidate for president” who declared his support for torture, and took aim at the “multiple candidates” who advocate surveillance and other invasive measures targeting Muslims.
“We have heard these calls to hatred — calls stigmatizing and demonizing minorities, beginning the validation of violence,” he said.
In December, the rights chief charged that Trump was being “grossly irresponsible” when he proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States.