Following the first day of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing, Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang released the following statement:
“After a day of questioning, Tillerson’s commitment to human rights in the U.S. and abroad is in serious question. While he confirmed that U.S. foreign policy should include the prioritization of human rights, he refused to acknowledge human rights abuses by known and long-recognized violators.
“It is extremely concerning that a nominee for Secretary of State would claim that governments in countries like Syria and the Philippines with clear patterns of documented violations are not considered human rights abusers. His rhetoric suggests that under his leadership the State Department would not pressure human rights violators even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
“If confirmed, Rex Tillerson will hold a position that affects the human rights of millions of people both inside and outside the United States. He must use tomorrow’s hearing to clarify today’s troubling statements.”