Trump’s silence on human rights abuses in Asia worries advocates.
President Trump’s 12-day trip to Asia has him schmoozing with some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. But unlike President Obama, who made a point of using his trips to regions with dodgy rights records to assert America’s moral soft power in the world, Trump has no intention of embarrassing his hosts or other regional leaders by insisting anyone hew to a specific line on human rights.
“How much does it help to yell about these problems,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told the press on Thursday. “What the president is doing is being effective.”
McMaster’s comment was meant to imply that the president may be speaking about human rights in quiet, backroom conversations, rather than from the bully pulpit. But human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have long believed shouting is effective. Hushing up horrors has not helped them get resolved. Yelling about them, on the other hand, has.
Despite the administration’s assurance that human rights is not high on the agenda, there are major regional abuses that the human rights community is hoping the president will weigh in on during the whirlwind trip to five countries. First are the more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, carried out by President Rodrigo Duterte‘s government as part of his war on drugs.
Another is the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Myanmar, where that country’s military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority has led to an exodus of 600,000 Rohingya since August 25. Finally, China and Vietnam have also long been a source of American concern, particularly with regard to political prisoners.
On November 2, Amnesty International even issued a five-page letter to the president, which was provided to Vox. It was a Read More Here