By: Adam Whitehall
Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the US from some Muslim-majority countries has been denounced by the UN’s rights chief as “mean-spirited” and illegal under international human rights law.
Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said: “Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law.
“The US ban is also mean-spirited, and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.”
Mr Trump’s executive order, which also suspended all US refugee programmes for 120 days, would “endanger lives”, the medical aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières said.
The Paris-based advocacy group said Mr Trump’s order “will effectively keep people trapped in war zones, directly endangering their lives”.
MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, called the refugee ban “an inhumane act against people fleeing war zones”.
It called on the US government to lift the order, end the exclusion from specific countries, and to restart the resettlement of refugees.
The EU vowed not to discriminate against refugees based on nationality, race or religion and said it will never choose isolation and inequality, in an implicit reference to America’s actions.
EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the 28-nation bloc was carefully studying the US travel ban to see how much it will impact EU citizens.