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U.N. rights chief says Trump's travel ban is illegal

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein addresses the Human Rights Council 26th Special Session on the human rights situation in South Sudan, Geneva, Switzerland, December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

GENEVA (Reuters) - Discriminating against people on the basis of their nationality is illegal, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Twitter on Monday, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban on nationals from seven Middle Eastern countries.

“Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under #humanrights law,” Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said in a tweet sent by his office. “The U.S. ban is also mean-spirited, and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.”

After a weekend of confusion, protests and worldwide outcry over Trump’s sweeping immigration order, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said late on Sunday that legal permanent residents, holders of so-called green cards, would be admitted, subject to security checks.

Reporting by Tom Miles, editing by Stephanie Nebehay