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Amnesty International accuses the West of double standards in its responses to human rights violations


The NGO's annual report denounces the "hypocrisy" of the "forceful" reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine while condoning human rights abuses in countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Israel

The response to Russia's war in Ukraine has exposed the "hypocrisy" of the West, which reacted forcefully to the Kremlin's aggression, but consents to "serious human rights violations" in other countries, according to Amnesty International (AI). in your annual report.

The document concludes that there are double standards and a lack of response to abuses around the world, citing "the resounding silence" about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, China's crackdown and "Israeli apartheid against Palestinian population”, among others.

In the opinion of the NGO, this double standard has "reinforced impunity and instability" in those countries.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine "is a horrifying example of what happens when states believe they can break international law and violate human rights without paying the consequences," said Agnès Callamard, AI's secretary general, at the presentation of the report in Paris, according to a statement from the organization.

However, this conflict, which has given rise to "mass displacements, war crimes and energy and food insecurity throughout the world", has obtained a response "that was not long in coming" and has been "forceful".

Callamard mentioned the economic sanctions imposed by Western states on Moscow, the military support for kyiv and the investigation into possible war crimes launched by the International Criminal Court.

“This strong initiative, while welcome, stands in stark contrast to the response to previous episodes of massive human rights violations by Russia and other countries, as well as the regrettable response to conflicts like Ethiopia. and Myanmar", criticized the organization's secretary general, who pointed out that if Russia had been held accountable for the crimes "documented" for years in Chechnya and Syria, "thousands of lives could have been saved", not only in those countries, but also in Ukraine.

Esteban Beltrán, director of Amnesty International in Spain, agrees in pointing out the lack of international reaction when in the wars in Chechnya and Syria, Moscow bombed the civilian population and attacked schools and hospitals.

"No government or institution did anything relevant and allowed the Russian government to continue committing these crimes without any consequences, neither in terms of sanctions, nor in political matters, nor in its participation in international institutions," Beltrán explains in a text message. .

“Who knows if the [Ukrainian] war would have been avoided.

For this reason, they must have convictions and defend human rights wherever they are violated and not consent to them in some countries to protect their own interests,” Beltrán asserts.

The double standards that AI criticizes with respect to the different reaction towards Ukraine and other conflicts, has also been revealed, according to the organization, by the different treatment that has been given to Ukrainians who have fled from that war in relation to those who have escaped from other conflicts.

“The states of the European Union opened their borders to the Ukrainian population (...) and demonstrated that they had more than enough capacity to accommodate large numbers of people seeking safety and offer them access to healthcare, education and accommodation.

However, many kept their borders closed to those who were fleeing the war and repression in Syria, Afghanistan and Libya”, recalled the organization's secretary general in presenting the report.

This "double standard of the West has emboldened countries like China," says the organization, which accuses Beijing of having committed massive human rights violations "tantamount to crimes against humanity" with the repression of the Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.

The double standard of measurement of Western countries "has also allowed", always according to AI, "Egypt and Saudi Arabia to avoid, ignore and divert criticism of their respective human rights records."

In the case of Israel, AI notes that 2022 was one of the deadliest years since 2006 for the population of the occupied West Bank.

"Israeli forces killed at least 151 Palestinians," including dozens of children, the document highlights.

Faced with this, "many Western governments chose to attack" those who denounce "the Israeli apartheid system" instead of "demanding its end."

The director of Amnesty International in Spain also believes that not speaking out against abuses such as those committed by Israel against the Palestinian population leads the authorities to believe that they have "a letter of marque" to "continue violating human rights", he explains to EL COUNTRY.

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Regression in rights in the world

In turn, the report warns of the repression suffered by demonstrators in Iran since the death of Masha Amini in police custody for not wearing the mandatory veil correctly, of the progressive restrictions on the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan in the Taliban and the violence used in anti-government protests in Peru.

In addition, Amnesty denounces legislative changes in Australia, India, Indonesia or the United Kingdom to restrict the right to demonstrate.

In its annual report, the NGO also criticizes the decline in the right to abortion in the United States, which affects other rights and leaves a part of the population in a much more vulnerable state.

The reform of the Gag Law, a missed opportunity in Spain

In the case of Spain, Amnesty International's annual report focuses on health management and criticizes that investment in primary care is still far from reaching 25%, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

In addition, the economic crisis "has caused thousands of people to have problems accessing or keeping their homes without having the protection of the State." 

The NGO recognizes "some improvements" in human rights brought about by new laws, such as those that affect gender equality, but regrets as a "lost" opportunity that the Citizen Security Law, known as the Gag Law, has not finally been reformed. which, among other issues, supports the return of migrants at the borders. 

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-27

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