Donald Trump has yet to take power, but a major human rights group heavily funded by billionaire progressive George Soros is already out with a new report lumping the U.S. in with major human rights abusers like China, Russia, Egypt and Syria all because of the Republican president-elect.
The justification for the designation is Trump’s “racism, xenophobia, nativism and misogyny,” according to Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), which released its survey on Thursday.
HRW is heavily funded by Soros, a Hillary Clinton supporter who backs hundreds of leftist and progressive groups across the world. Soros pledged to give $100 million to HRW over a ten year period in 2010. Open Society Foundations, Soros’ main vehicle for funding U.S.-based groups, gave $10 million to HRW in 2014, its most recent tax filings show.
HRW appears to share Soros’ disdain for Trump.
As The New York Times notes, the designation of the U.S. as a major human rights abuser marks a first for HRW in the 27 years it has released its annual survey.
“The rise of populism poses a dangerous threat to human rights,” Roth said in a video introduction of the report.
“Trump gained power in the United States, various politicians are seeking power in Europe through making appeals to racism, xenophobia, nativism and misogyny,” he continued.
The 687-page report provides overviews of human rights situations in approximately 90 countries around the world. It rates countries based upon their treatment of journalists and dissenters, the freedom of their elections, and their positions on the death penalty, the use of torture and the fairness of their judicial systems.
Though Trump has yet to shape any policies in the U.S., the HRW survey mentions the Republican 19 times, including under a section with the heading “Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric.”
The group is most disturbed with Trump’s comments regarding immigration and Muslims.
The 19 mentions of Trump is compared to 11 mentions of both Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both of whom have cracked down heavily on reporters and dissidents. Bashar al-Assad, the dictator of Syria who has murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens, receives 15 mentions in the report.
In his introduction to the report, Roth argued that Trump is one of a new class of Western leaders who are riding a wave of anti-globalist, nationalistic populism.
“They all have in common the claim to speak for the majority and claim that the majority wants rights violated in the name of securing jobs, or avoiding cultural change, or protecting against terrorism,” he said.
“In the last century various communist and fascist governments also claimed to speak for the majority and then visited enormous repression on their people.”
In its preview of the report, The Times noted that while HRW has criticized the U.S. in the past, most notably after the 9/11 attacks, its new report is more critical of the U.S. than in any previous issue.
The group was heavily critical of the George Bush administration for its response to the 9/11 attacks, but Roth said he believes Trump will poses a greater threat to human rights.
“This is a more fundamental threat to human rights than George Bush after 9/11. I see Trump treating human rights as a constraint on the will of the majority in a way that Bush never did,” Roth told The Times.