West News Wire: According to Amnesty International, the outcry over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year only served to highlight the West’s “double standards” towards human rights atrocities around the globe. Amnesty International criticised what it called the West’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights, Egypt’s authoritarianism, and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in its annual global report for 2022. 

Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, presented the organization’s global report in Paris. “The West’s formidable response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscored double standards, exposing in comparison how inconsequential their reactions have been to so many other violations of the UN Charter,” she said. 

Russia’s assault that began on February 24, 2022 “gave us an all too rare view of what becomes possible when there is political will to act” as the West closed ranks to support Ukraine, she added. 

Many countries imposed sanctions on Moscow and opened their borders to Ukrainian refugees after the invasion, while the International Criminal Court launched an investigation into war crimes in Ukraine. 

But Amnesty said the conflict had highlighted shortcomings in responding to abuses in other parts of the globe. It singled out the West’s “deafening silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, inaction on Egypt, and the refusal to confront Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians”. 

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a UN special rapporteur have found that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is analogous to apartheid policies, which segregated blacks and whites in a white-ruled South Africa. The Israeli government denies this accusation. 

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Amnesty International claimed that throughout the occupied West Bank, “successive Israeli governments rolled out measures forcing more Palestinians from their homes, expanding illegal settlements, and legalising existing settlements and outposts.” 

Western nations, it claimed, failed to demand an end to that “system of oppression” in spite of this and Israeli forces killing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. 

Human rights activists continued to languish in Saudi Arabian prisons, others were imprisoned for their beliefs following “grossly unfair trials,” 81 men were executed in one day, and migrants died in detention. The organisation said that thousands of human rights advocates, journalists, protestors, and supposed dissidents were still imprisoned in Egypt and that “torture remained rampant.” 

According to Amnesty International, while European nations welcomed Ukrainian refugees, they did not provide the same courtesy to those escaping conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, or Libya. In addition to welcoming Ukrainians, the United States also removed over 25,000 Haitians between September 2021 and May 2022, subjecting many of them to torture and other ill-treatment, according to the group. 

The failure of international institutions “to respond adequately to conflicts killing thousands of people, including in Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Yemen,” was also emphasised by Amnesty International. According to Amnesty International, the conflict in Ukraine “diverted resources and attention away from the climate crisis, other protracted conflicts, and human suffering around the world.” 

According to Callamard, there was little evidence in 2022 that the international reaction to the Ukraine issue will serve as a model for consistent and cogent responses to conflicts and crises. 


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