While Russia has been pursuing its offensive in Ukraine for more than a year, Amnesty International denounces in its
Annual Report A “Two weights, two measures“in condemnations of human rights violations.”The West’s strong response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine stands in stark contrast to the deplorable lack of meaningful action in the face of serious violations committed by some of its allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the ‘Egypt and Israel’, details the NGO. She points “incapacity” of the international community to unite around a systematic application of the protection of fundamental rights.
Silence on human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the West Bank
Amnesty International points out in particular “the deafening silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record“, which allows this country, just like Egypt, “escape criticism of their human rights record“. According to the NGO, Saudi Arabia has forcibly returned “tens of thousands of Ethiopian migrants, after having arbitrarily detained them in inhuman conditions only because they did not have a valid residence permit“. Among these, many women and children, who were fleeing the conflict in their country. Amnesty also denounces “acts of torture” And “other forms of abuse“. The Islamic monarchy, where the death penalty is still practiced, organized on March 12, 2022 the largest collective execution in decades: 81 men were put to death at the same time.
Torture, ill-treatment and lack of access to healthcare have been documented in much of the Middle East: in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, notes Amnesty. In Egypt, the authorities have “severely suppressed the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly“Ahead of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) last November in the country,”895 people detained for political reasons were released, but almost three times more were arrested, including several hundred in connection with the calls to demonstrate” during the summit.
As for Palestinians in the West Bank, “2022 was the deadliest year of the decade“for them. At least 151 people, including several dozen children,”were killed by Israeli forces“, according to the NGO, and “plans to drastically expand illegal settlements” have been carried out by Israel. Amnesty denounces the behavior of “many Western governments” which “instead of demanding the end“of this”apartheid system“, “preferred to attack those who denounced him“.
Inaction in deadly conflicts in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Yemen
Amnesty International’s report also denounces “the inability of global and regional institutions – paralyzed by the priority given by their members to their own interests – to respond satisfactorily to conflicts that claim thousands of lives, for example in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Yemen.”
The war in Ethiopia would have made “several hundred thousand dead, many of whom would have been killed out of sight” as part of what the NGO calls “a campaign of ethnic cleansing” against “Tigrayans in Western Tigray”. It denounces targeted operations by government forces against civilians, rape and other sexual violence and the arrest of at least 29 journalists and media professionals.
In Myanmar (Burma), the army has made itself responsible for “war crimes“: Reinforced attacks”blind as targeted and terrestrial as aerial“against civilians, leaving hundreds dead and at least 150,000 displaced. Types of armament”prohibited by international law“, as anti-personnel mines would have been used. In this conflict, Amnesty International finally denounces the responsibility of private companies, several of which left the territory after an initial report by the NGO. They would have provided fuel for planes of the air force, used for air strikes against populations.
Regarding the West’s inaction, “the Human Rights Council, although having unequivocally and rightly condemned the violations committed in Ukraine, did not really concern itself with the conflict in Yemen, leaving a huge void as regards the obligation to render accounts“. In June, a complaint was filed by NGOs before the Paris Court of Justice”against three French arms companies – Dassault Aviation, Thales Group and MBDA France for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Yemen”. Amnesty International regrets that “the government and the Parliament [français ne soient] still not managed to agree on the creation of a mechanism for parliamentary control of arms transfers”. Several Western countries are suspected by these NGOs of having delivered arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, then used against the Yemeni populations.
A “double standard” dangerous for human rights
“Shameful practice of double standards sets the stage for further human rights abuses“, also indicates Amnesty International. Indeed, this policy differentiated between “international support for Ukraine” and the “silence“concerning human rights violations in other conflicts, as well as unequal reception policies for migrants,”do not only benefit the Western powers“. They leave, according to Amnesty International, States guilty of “crimes against humanity” Unpunished. China, in particular “continues to escape any international condemnation from the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council”, despite the abuses against the Uyghurs.
“The year 2022 may have marked a turning point in the history of the world order“, concludes Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International. She urges “officials at the head of the coalition that supports Ukraine” To “redouble efforts and forge new partnerships to reaffirm their commitment to an international system that serves the majority of the world’s population“. Without this, “the rulers of the globe would commit a betrayal that could lead the world to the edge of the abyss“.