News & Politics

'A Flagrant Violation of Human Rights': Amnesty International Blasts Trump's 'Spectacularly Cruel' Child Separation Policy

The administration faces extreme backlash across the political spectrum.

Photo Credit: ABC News

Amnesty International has released a blistering press statement accusing President Donald Trump's administration of violating international and domestic laws regarding torture for its inhumane treatment of migrant children.

“This is a spectacularly cruel policy, where frightened children are being ripped from their parent’s arms and taken to overflowing detention centers, which are effectively cages. This is nothing short of torture. The severe mental suffering that officials have intentionally inflicted on these families for coercive purposes, means that these acts meet the definitions of torture under both US and international law,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director, said in the statement.

“There is no question that President Trump administration’s policy of separating mothers and fathers from their children is designed to impose severe mental suffering on these families, in order to deter others from trying to seek safety in the USA. Many of these families come from countries experiencing generalized violence and grave human rights violations, including Honduras and El Salvador," she continued. "This is a flagrant violation of the human rights of these parents and children and is also a violation of US obligations under refugee law."

Guevara-Rosas said the Trump administration is engaged in a "sick game" with refugees for political purposes.

Of the 17 families interviewed by Amnesty International who experienced forced family separation, only three had reportedly sought refuge from the U.S. outside of legal channels.

Amnesty International's statement joins a chorus of outrage across the political spectrum that has grown to include elected Republican officials, former First Lady Laura Bush and Christian leaders including those representing the Evangelical sects that supported Trump for president.

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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.