30 January, New York
United Nations Human Rights Chief Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein has called US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on mainly Muslim countries as illegal and mean-spirited.
In a tweet message, Zeid said, discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law, adding that the US ban is also mean-spirited and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.
Earlier today, United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, had said Syrian and other refugees pose no national security threat to the US and urged it to reconsider its ban on immigration. It said, there is no merit to a claim by Trump that Syrian refugees threaten national security and should be banned from entering the United States.
The UNHCR spokesperson rejected assertions that Syrian refugees are terrorists. She said, the UNHCR carefully screens all refugees proposed for resettlement in the US and more than 30 other countries.
Meanwhile, Trump administration has indicated that Pakistan could be included in the list of countries from where immigration to the US has been banned by President Trump. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the seven countries are the ones which were identified by both the Congress and the Obama administration as most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place there.
Trump on Friday signed an executive order suspending the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely — and barring citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.