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Amnesty International Finland calls on President Niinistö to defend human rights during Trump-Putin talks

Human rights organisation Amnesty International in Finland says both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have undermined human rights during their time in office.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistö Naton huippukokouksessa torstaina 12. heinäkuuta.
President Sauli Niinistö will host presidents Trump and Putin during bilateral talks in Helsinki on Monday, 16 July. Image: Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA

The Finnish chapter of the human rights organisation Amnesty International has called on Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to stand up for human rights during talks with US and Russian presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Amnesty Finland said it hopes that Niinistö will remind both leaders to observe international agreements on human rights during a series of bilateral talks on Monday.

Amnesty pointed out that Niinistö holds an important position as host of the first official meeting between the two heads.

“It would be good for Niinistö to remind [them] to uphold international agreements, which from the perspective of a superpower is a better alternative than permitting torture and continuing violation of the laws of war,” Amnesty International Finland executive director Frank Johansson commented in a statement.

According to Johansson, Niinistö could adopt an unwavering position and show the visiting heads in which camp Finland belongs with respect to human rights.

The NGO stressed that during their respective terms in office, both Putin and Trump have chipped away at human rights.

“Their policies have led to families being broken up, children locked in cages, ongoing atrocities in the protracted war in Syria and the torture and killing of sexual minorities in Chechnya, to name only a few,” Johansson continued in the release.

The NGO head added that Monday’s summit will offer both Trump and Putin an opportunity to change course and begin to lead with compassion and fairness.

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