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PARIS — Amnesty International says President Donald Trump's "poisonous" rhetoric on his way to winning the White House led a global trend towards increasingly divisive politics in 2016 that had made the world a "darker" place.
It alleged that "toxic" fear-mongering by anti-establishment politicians is contributing to a global pushback against human rights.
"Politicians are shamelessly and actively legitimizing all sorts of hateful rhetoric and policies based on people's identity: misogyny, racism and homophobia."
Releasing its 408-page annual report on rights abuses around the world Wednesday, the watchdog group described 2016 as "the year when the cynical use of 'us vs. them' narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s," when Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Amnesty named Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte among leaders it said are "wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people."
"Poisonous" rhetoric employed by Trump in his election campaign exemplified "the global trend of angrier and more divisive politics," Amnesty said.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the report by The Associated Press.
Amnesty's annual report, "The State of the World's Human Rights," documented what it called "grave violations of human rights" in 159 countries in 2016.
Amnesty added: "The limits of what is acceptable have shifted. Politicians are shamelessly and actively legitimizing all sorts of hateful rhetoric and policies based on people's identity: misogyny, racism and homophobia. The first target has been refugees and, if this continues in 2017, others will be in the crosshairs."
Amnesty said populist movements and messages had also become more common in Europe, notably in Poland and Hungary.
"The result was a pervasive weakening of the rule of law and an erosion in the protection of human rights, particularly for refugees and terrorism suspects, but ultimately for everyone," it added.