In September Zeid made headlines for comparing populist movements in Europe and the United States to ISIS; and insinuated that Donald Trump was a demagogue for enabling ethnic nationalism in the United States. He regularly criticized the US President for his refugee ban and travel ban targeting Muslims. Now, it seems Zeid was facing the prospect of either muting his criticism or leaving his job. He chose the latter.
That he faced this choice at all shows suggests that UN human rights system cannot function when the United States so blatantly abandons values-promotion in foreign policy. This does not bode well for the ideal of an empowered UN-backed independent global human rights watchdog defending vulnerable people around the world.