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Amnesty International USA: Trump’s Proposed State Department Leadership Deeply Concerning

    December 12, 2016

    NEW YORK – Responding to reports that President-elect Donald Trump’s intends to nominate Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State and John Bolton to serve as Deputy Secretary, Eric Ferrero, director of communications for Amnesty International USA released the following statement:

    “These reported nominations are deeply troubling and could undermine human rights in the US and abroad.As Secretary of State, Tillerson would be the U.S.’s chief diplomat and, as such, will be the face of Trump’s policy around the world. We know that Tillerson has been successful in safeguarding the interests of a massive oil company – will he be as invested in safeguarding human rights abroad?

    “In this role, Tillerson would have to exert pressure on governments worldwide to comply with human rights standards, including Russia. The Senate should question him vigorously about his relationship to a government with such a poor human rights record. The U.S. must have a Secretary of State that will hold all countries accountable for human rights violations – even countries that have profited from his business.

    “If confirmed, Tillerson will be the primary voice of the Trump administration to the rest of the global community and must ensure that the Trump administration respects U.S. obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.

    “If reports are true, that John Bolton is to run the day-to-day operations under Tillerson, this could be one of the least human rights friendly State Departments in years.Bolton has voiced enthusiastic support for a litany of human rights abuses including torture, while expressing disdain for international institutions created to advance human rights. During the George W. Bush administration, he was a leading proponent of severing the United States' relationship with the International Criminal Court, announcing that the U.S. would ‘unsign’ the treaty.”

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    For media queries, please contact:

    • Jacob Kuehn, Amnesty International Canada:  +1 613-744-7667 ext. 236; jkuehn@amnesty.ca