U.N. rights boss condemns "spreading hatred through tweets"

GENEVA (Reuters) - In a thinly veiled reference to U.S. President Donald Trump, the top U.N. human rights official on Thursday condemned “populists” who spread “hatred through tweets”.

Britain criticised Trump on Wednesday after he retweeted anti-Islam videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right British fringe party who was convicted this month of abusing a Muslim woman.

“There are the populists — political hooligans who through their incitement — which is the equivalent of hurling racist insults, throwing bottles onto the field, attacking the referee and, as we saw yesterday, spreading hatred through tweets — seek to scramble our order, our laws,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a speech in Geneva.

A U.N. official, who declined to be identified, said that Zeid’s remarks were “clearly a reference to Trump tweets but also others using social media in this way”.

(Refiles to add dropped full name of official)

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams