Outrage over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year has exposed the West’s “double standards” towards human rights abuses throughout the world, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
In its annual world report for 2022, Amnesty pointed to what it described as the West’s silence on other human rights abuses, including Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
“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,” said Amnesty secretary general Agnes Callamard as she presented the group’s world report in Paris.
Russia’s full-scale assault, which 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.
Amnesty, fellow rights watchdog Human Rights Watch, and a UN special rapporteur have concluded that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians amounts to apartheid, or segregation on grounds of race, a charge the Israeli state denies.
Last year, “successive Israeli governments rolled out measures forcing more Palestinians from their homes, expanding illegal settlements, and legalizing existing settlements and outposts across the occupied West Bank”, Amnesty said.
But despite this – and despite Israeli forces killing “at least 153 civilians, including dozens of children” in the occupied West Bank – Western nations failed to demand an end to that “system of oppression”, it said.
(The New Arab)
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