LONDON (AP) — The United Nations' human rights chief on Friday accused Britain's tabloid newspapers of hate speech against immigrants.
Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said that an article in The Sun comparing migrants to cockroaches used language similar to that employed by the instigators of Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
The April 17 column by Katie Hopkins, a former contestant on TV show "The Apprentice," has caused controversy in Britain. Hopkins said gunboats should be used against migrant boats in the Mediterranean, and called immigrants "feral humans."
Zeid urged British media, authorities and regulators to curb incitement to hatred.
"The Nazi media described people their masters wanted to eliminate as rats and cockroaches," he said. "This type of language is clearly inflammatory and unacceptable, especially in a national newspaper."
Zeid said the column "was simply one of the more extreme examples of thousands of anti-foreigner articles that have appeared in U.K. tabloids over the past two decades."
He said the "nasty underbelly of racism" in Europe's immigration debate was warping the European Union response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
The Sun declined to comment. In a column for the newspaper Friday, Hopkins said the response to her remarks had reminded her to be "aware of the dangers which lurk in the depths of our vocabulary."