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Respect for human rights in Arab countries 'has never been worse' says former Tunisian president

March 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

Former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has accused US President Donald Trump of contributing to the decline in human rights in the Middle East by supporting dictators there. Marzouki highlighted Trump’s support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Speaking at an event on the side-lines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Marzouki said that respect for human rights in the region has never been worse than the years following the Arab Spring. Whilst governments in the region are to blame, the Trump administration is exacerbating this downward spiral.

Read: The Middle East, America and Trump

Trump’s attack on the media has encouraged other countries around the world to do the same. “The US will lose all the moral leverage over these dictatorships, and this will lead to an increase in terrorism, not a decrease”, he said.

Speaking alongside Marzouki, 2011 Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman said that Trump’s phrase Islamic terrorism is “racist”, “discriminatory” and it emboldens Daesh by enforcing the impression that the West is at war with Islam.

Karman said that the West have not done enough to support the Arab Spring uprisings, including in her home country Yemen, which is suffering a brutal civil war.

“Unfortunately the West let down the Arab youth who had aspirations and dreams of freedom and democracy, and allowed them to be devoured by both dictatorships and terrorism,” said Karman.