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'A darker more unstable world' says Amnesty International


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'A darker more unstable world' says Amnesty International

Euronews journalist Mark Davis spoke to David Griffiths from Amnesty International:“In its Annual Report on the state of Human Rights worldwide, Amnesty International has singled out for criticism a lack of humanitarian leadership on behalf of what it calls a “more divided and dangerous Europe.
Mark Davis, Euronews: What have the EU and national European governments been doing wrong in the eyes of your organisation?”

David Griffiths,Amnesty International:
“Thirty six countries across the world that we have documented have unlawfully sent back refugees to situations where they could face violence and persecution. Europe has been at the forefront of undermining the very foundations of asylum and refugee law pushing back refugees in a year when 5,000, more than ever before, drowned in the Mediterranean.
But it is not just that, we have seen Donald Trump’s dangerous and divisive electoral rhetoric in the US election campaign been turned into action already in 2017; we have seen president Duterte’s so called war on drugs in the Philipines result in the killing of 7,000 people.”

Mark Davis, Euronews:
“The Annual Report relates to 2016. Does Amnesty International believe Europe’s failings, but also the failings of other areas in the world, are a recent phenomenon or are they deeper rooted?”

David Griffiths, Amnesty International:
“Well what we have seen in 2016 has been how this politics of demonisation has surged across the world. Of course it is nothing new and many, ourselves included, have pointed back to eras such as the 1930’s. We have been here before and the consequences have been very ugly and, you know, it is high time we recognise that this is a dangerous path that we are on. It is dangerously easy to paint a dystopian picture about the future of the world now, and we are in danger of reaching a point now where some people are seen as less human than others.”

Mark Davis, Euronews:
“Many Europeans will argue that years of lax immigration policies have undermined their own rights and fed the threat of terrorism. Are their fears legitimate?”

David Griffiths, Amnesty International:
“Well we have seen European policy towards refugees which has callously pushed them away undermining the very foundation of asylum laws which were put in place after the catastrophic refugee crisis after WW II. And you know, I think it is important for people to recognise that refugees are often victims of the very same threats that leaders in Europe have been using to justify pushing refugees away. They are victims themselves.”

Mark Davis, Euronews:
“If we come at this from another perspective and look for positives, where can we find good examples to follow when it comes to defending human rights?”

David Griffiths, Amnesty International:
“Well, there has been a lot of good news in 2016 as well, across the world
where leaders are failing, people are standing up. We have seen it along the European Mediterranean coast too, where the generosity of people in pulling refugees out of the water, opening their homes to them, helping them, travelling across Europe to volunteer. You know, people don’t want these repressive policies that governments are putting in place. So you know, it is important that people stand up and hold their leaders to account, get in the way of the politics of demonisation, but it is not always
easy.”