UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF: Trump's immigration ban is illegal and 'mean-spirited'

LONDON — US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries is illegal and “mean-spirited,” according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On Monday, Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein released a brief statement on Twitter, which said that “discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law.”

He added: “The US ban is also mean-spirited, and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.”

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order which banned the arrival of all refugees for 120 days, indefinitely barred all Syrian refugees, and suspended the entry of all nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days.

Trump’s actions were heavily criticised by world leaders and many senior US politicians, but UN bodies initially stopped short of criticising Trump.

Instead, a joint statement issued on Friday by the UN refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migration expressed “hope that the US will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.”

The world’s largest body of Islamic nations also said on Monday that it had “grave concerns” over the travel ban.

The 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation told Associated Press that “such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism.”

After a weekend of confusion concerning the details of the order, Trump continued to defend the immigration ban on Monday. He tweeted that only a fraction of travellers had been affected by the change in policy:

He added:

NOW WATCH: ‘This is not about religion’: Trump defends his immigration ban as thousands protest around the US

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.