Trump winning election would be ‘dangerous’, UN rights chief warns in extraordinary intervention

Russia has immediately defended Trump, suggesting a UN official shouldn’t criticise potential foreign heads of state 

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 12 October 2016 09:45 BST
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Mr Trump has described any links to Russia or the Russian president Vladimir Putin as conspiracy theories
Mr Trump has described any links to Russia or the Russian president Vladimir Putin as conspiracy theories (Getty)

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If the US elects Donald Trump as president it would be “dangerous” for the rest of the world, the UN’s rights chief has warned in an extraordinary intervention.

Speaking in Geneva, Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein highlighted comments the Republican candidate has made about torture and “vulnerable people” in particular, describing them as “deeply unsettling and disturbing”.

Mr Zeid told reporters a Trump presidency would be “dangerous from an international point of view”.

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Russia immediately sprang to Mr Trump’s defence, with Moscow’s ambassador to the UN suggesting it was not Mr Zeid’s place to criticise would-be heads of state and foreign governments.

UN rights chief and Jordanian prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein refused to tone down his remarks
UN rights chief and Jordanian prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein refused to tone down his remarks (AFP/Getty)

But Mr Zeid said he refused to tone down his remarks decrying dangers posed by “populists and demagogues”.

He said: “If Donald Trump is elected, on the basis of what he has said already and unless that changes, I think it’s without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view.”

During his campaign to be elected president on 8 November, Mr Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US, and in the second TV debate against Hillary Clinton on Sunday described refugees as “the Trojan Horse of all time”.

The Republican began his campaign on 16 June 2015 with a speech in which he said of Mexicans: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

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And he has spoken positively about alleged war crimes committed by US troops abroad, saying “we have to fight fire with fire”. On waterboarding detainees, which the US banned in 2006 as being both an illegal and ineffective method of torture, Mr Trump has said: “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

Mr Trump has described any links to Russia or the Russian president Vladimir Putin as conspiracy theories, though Russian state media have made no secret of their support for his candidacy over that of Hillary Clinton.

US media have nonetheless repeatedly raised the issue of Mr Trump’s ties to Russia “beneath the surface”. Speaking to NBC last month, Mr Trump praised Mr Putin’s approval ratings in Russia, said he was a “far” better leader than Barack Obama, and added that if he “says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him”.

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