PARIS – Human Rights Watch says that new intolerance in countries like the United States is encouraging oppressive strongmen from Russia to China and Turkey.
The advocacy group's annual report released Thursday says immigrant-bashing and other populist policies pose "an enormous threat" to hard-fought minority rights in democracies.
The group's director, Kenneth Roth, singled out President Donald Trump, saying he "has broken all the taboos against racism, against misogyny, against xenophobia."
While Trump's supporters welcome his frank discourse, Roth said it has international fallout because "this makes it much more difficult to stigmatize authoritarian leaders."
The report urges democratic governments to address the problems that allowed populism to prosper, such as income inequality, fears of terrorism and growing migration. It also urges popular resistance.