Protesters in Britain demonstrate against Trump immigration policy | News | DW | 04.02.2017
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Protesters in Britain demonstrate against Trump immigration policy

Around 10 thousand people have protested in the UK against a US travel ban that affects several Muslim-majority nations. Critics see the ban as inflaming religious tensions and violating international laws on refugees.

Thousands of people on Saturday heeded a call from rights groups and Muslim organizations in Britain to protest outside the US Embassy in London against President Trump's executive order suspending travel to the US from several Muslim-majority countries.

Protesters held banners bearing slogans such as "No to Trump, No to War" and "Trump: Special Relationship? Just say no."

It was the third protest addressing various aspects of Trump's presidency to have taken place in the British capital in two weeks.

Meanwhile, a petition calling for Trump to be denied a format state visit to the UK to avoid embarrassing Queen Elizabeth reached more than 1.8 million signatories.

Demonstrations each involving about a thousand people took place on Saturday afternoon in front of the US embassy in Berlin and in Paris, along with small marches in Stockholm and Barcelona.

The rallies took place the day after a US judge temporarily suspended the order, saying it had caused "immediate and irreparable injury." 

USA Einreiseverbot Trump - Reaktion aus Tokio (picture alliance/NurPhoto/R. A. de Guzman)

The travel order has provoked protests in Japan as well

Trump, on Saturday, criticized a "so-called judge" for suspending the ban saying it was "ridiculous" and would be overturned.

Anti-Muslim order?

The executive order signed by Trump suspended entry to the United States to people traveling from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen - for 90 days, as well as putting a temporary halt to the entire US refugee program. The administration said the move is designed to combat terrorism.

USA Einreiseverbot Trump - Reaktion der muslimischen Gemeinde (picture-alliance/ZUMAPRESS/R. Chiu)

Some see the US travel ban as Islamophobic

The US State Department on Friday said that 60,000 visas had been revoked following Trump's order, after media reports quoted government lawyers as saying that more than 100,000 people had been affected.

Critics of the order say that the ban has separated families, harmed thousands of US residents and goes against international law on taking in refugees fleeing conflict. Rights groups have also warned that the move could heighten religious tension and encourage Islamophobia.

Australian protests

The order also brought thousands of demonstrators onto the streets in Australia on Saturday, with protesters coupling their outrage at Trump's move with calls for Australia to close its offshore processing centers on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Australia's hardline refugee policy, which denies asylum to anybody attempting to enter the country by boat, has been slammed by rights groups, and the United Nations have called for the offshore centers to be shut amid allegations of violence, sexual assualt, degrading treatment and self-harm.

Pazifik Insel Nauru Flüchtlinglager von Australien (Reuters/Amnesty International)

The offshore camps have been condemned by the UN

The protests in Australia come following a diplomatic spat between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with Trump calling a deal between the two nations struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama, "dumb."

The deal is to see the United States taking up to 1,250 asylum-seekers held on Nauru and Manus to enable Canberra to stick to its "no boat" policy. In return, Australia would take in refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Trump later said he planned to stand by the agreement, which has been widely criticized in Australia.

Student rallies against Trump's immigration policy were also held in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and outside the US embassy in the Philippine capital, Manila.

tj,mm/sms (AP, Reuters)

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