In response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it would implement new travel restrictions for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania, Physicians for Human Rights issues the following statement attributable to Tamaryn Nelson, senior researcher:
“The Trump administration’s drastic expansion of the travel ban is a draconian and cruel action that debases the United States’ role as a refuge, where human rights and human dignity are respected. Physicians for Human Rights condemns this policy decision, which is clearly motivated by xenophobia and represents an extension of the administration’s assaults on immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“The Trump administration is targeting primarily African countries in this latest expansion, as well as those from Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan. This action affects many Muslim communities as well as those who that have endured war and mass atrocities. As PHR research has shown, people from these countries are often fleeing for their lives, whether from widespread and systematic violence in Myanmar, genocide in Sudan, or oppressive regimes in Eritrea.
“The doctors, nurses, and psychologists in the PHR Asylum Network can attest to the physical and mental scars left by torture, sexual violence, and ill-treatment of those seeking sanctuary in the United States. Those seeking a new life deserve our empathy, not our hostility.
“The administration says its goal is ‘detecting attempted entry into the United States by terrorist or other public-safety threats.’ That is a farce that will only tear apart families and could intensify an anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. It is hypocritical that an administration that prides itself on defending religious freedom would pass such a policy.
“Physicians for Human Rights calls on the administration to respect the human rights and dignity of all people, including of those who seek safety in the United Sates from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.