Theresa May urged to stand up to Trump following 18 months of human rights violations

Alisdare Hickson photo



Amnesty International



Ahead of the visit to the UK of the U.S. President Donald Trump next week, human rights NGO Amnesty International is calling for Theresa May to “stand up to Trump” and to put the Anglo-American diplomatic relationship on a new “intelligently critical” footing.


Mrs May was criticised for appearing in public holding hands with the newly-elected president when she visited Washington early last year, and since then there has been mounting concern that the UK has failed to give vocal support to human rights principles during an unprecedented 18 months of human rights roll-back under Donald Trump (see ‘18 months of human rights violations’ below).


Amnesty has written to the Prime Minister requesting that she take up some of the key human rights issues when she meets the president for talks, including the U.S. administration’s policy of detaining child migrants and the reinstatement and expansion of a highly controversial “global gag rule”affecting funding for international women’s health programmes.


Meanwhile, Amnesty, a host of other groups and thousands of members of the public will be staging protest marches and rallies on Friday 13 July, when Mr Trump is due to hold political talks with Theresa May and her fellow ministers.


In London, Amnesty will participate in Women’s March London’s “Bring The Noise” march as part of a larger “Together against Trump” march and rally. Amnesty activists, some dressed as horror movies characters, will hold colourful placards with Mr Trump’s face and messages such as “Donald Trump is the American nightmare in London” and “A nightmare on any street”.


To signify the protest’s positive pro-human rights spirit, the reverse side of the placards will also feature the slogan: “Rise and shine: Defend human rights”.


Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:


“Never mind the American Dream, Donald Trump’s presidency has been a human rights nightmare.


“In only 18 months, Mr Trump has presided over a nightmarish human rights roll-back – from locking up child migrants and withdrawing from global human rights bodies, to imposing a discriminatory travel ban and decimating global funding for women.


“Donald Trump has been on the wrong side of history with almost every major decision he’s taken on human rights.


“Theresa May should stand up to Trump, reassert the core values of multilateralism and human rights, and put the Anglo-American diplomatic relationship on a new ‘intelligently critical’ footing.


“We’re not taking Trump’s trashing of human rights lying down. Millions of people around the world – from New Delhi to New York, from Monrovia to Madrid – are appalled at what’s been happening.


“Mr Trump may be shielded from the sight of our banners, but we’ll be on the streets making our voices heard. Our message is simple: Enough already, Mr Trump!”




18 months of human rights violations



Among other things in the past 18 months, Amnesty has strongly criticised President Trump’s administration over:





  • the appointment of Gina Haspel as director of the CIA;


  • plans to consider using nuclear weapons in response to a cyber-attack in the USA







  • an executive order affecting the Mexico-USA border which allows for the forcible return of people to life-threatening situations;


  • the reinstatement and expansion of a “global gag rule” affecting funding for international women’s health programmes;



  • and the decision to continue the construction of the Dakota pipeline despite environmental and cultural concerns.







Amnesty International is a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights with over 7 million members and supporters around the world. The stated objective of the organisation is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

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