Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Pakistani Nobel Peace laureate, criticized the US President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending refugee arrival and entry from seven Muslim countries.
“I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war,” the Nobel Prize winner said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants — the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair change at a new life,” Yousafzai added.
“I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled out for discrimination,” the statement continued. “In this time of uncertainty and unrest around the world, I ask President Trump not to turn his back on the world’s most defenseless children and families.”
While the White House did not provide immediate details about Trump’s executive order, reports in recent days suggest the U.S. would stop issuing visas to people coming from several Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.
The order is also expected to indefinitely block refugees from war-torn Syria from entering the U.S. and suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days while the administration determines which countries pose the least risk.
Yousafzai is an advocate for women’s education who was shot by the Taliban in 2012. In 2014, she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, at age 17.