UN Rights Chief Condemns Western “Demagogues”

UN Rights Chief Condemns Western “Demagogues”UN Rights Chief Condemns Western “Demagogues”

The UN’s human rights chief has launched a scathing attack on western populist politicians, branding them “demagogues and political fantasists”.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein singled out Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, saying he uses bigotry as a political weapon.

He said he and others, including US Republican Donald Trump and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, used the same tactics as the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group. Hussein was addressing a security conference in The Hague, the Netherlands, BBC reported.

In an election manifesto published last month, Wilders said that if elected he would close all mosques and ban the Koran and Muslim immigrants. His Freedom Party (PVV) is leading opinion polls in the Netherlands before the 2017 election.

Wilders also addressed the US Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, last month. Trump’s campaign has been marked by hardline rhetoric on immigration and social issues.

Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the inauguration of the Peace, Justice and Security Foundation, that he wanted to address his statement to “Geert Wilders, his acolytes, indeed to all those like him—the populists, demagogues and political fantasists”.

“I am a Muslim, who is, confusingly to racists, also white-skinned; whose mother is European and father, Arab. And I am angry, too, because of Wilders’ lies and half-truths, manipulations and peddling of fear,” Hussein said.

“Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh (another acronym of IS). But in its mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of Daesh uses tactics similar to those of the populists,” he said.