Amnesty International urges Western countries to be more consistent in defending human rights by moving away from the “double standards” approach highlighted by support for Ukraine.
The organisation’s secretary general, Agnès Callamard, notes that the numerous declarations of support and the measures adopted to help Kyiv repel Russian forces contrast sharply with the “stunning silence” surrounding the excesses of “friendly” authoritarian regimes like the Saudi Arabia or even Egypt.
Riyadh and Cairo, the organization points out in its most recent annual report published on Tuesday, notably sentenced many people to death after “manifestly unfair trials” and tortured detainees without prompting strong denunciations.
The support given by Britain and the United States to the efforts of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate allegations of war crimes in Ukraine contrasts, underlines Amnesty International, with the fact that Washington does not recognize the court and opposes any investigation involving its allies or its own nationals in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Twenty years after the creation of the ICC, one could wonder, in the light of these initiatives, whether its principles applied in the same way to all victims of crimes under international law, regardless of the situation and the region concerned. “, notes the report.
The preferential treatment granted to Ukrainian refugees, who have been able to benefit from special programs to settle within the European Union while Afghans and Syrians have come up against closed doors, is also likely to reinforce the impression that there is a “selective and self-serving approach to supporting fundamental rights”.
The expulsion between September 2021 and May 2022 by the United States of 25,000 Haitians who were detained in difficult conditions added to this perception, notes the organization.
The situation, according to Agnès Callamard, “weakens international support for Ukraine”, which is significantly less marked in developing countries.
It also fuels a climate of “instability and impunity” from which authoritarian countries like China take advantage.
The Asian giant, notes the report, continues to escape any condemnation from the General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council in relation to the abuses perpetrated against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.
“Russian aggression has further destabilized a multilateral system already weakened by decades of disregard for international law by major powers acting with impunity,” Ms. Callamard noted.
Amnesty International is also alarmed that the conflict in Ukraine has “diverted attention” from deadly older conflicts, particularly in Ethiopia, and the urgency of action to counter global warming.
Despite the proliferation of environmental “calamities” linked to the phenomenon, world leaders gathered in Egypt for COP 27 have not been able, the organization deplores, to take the necessary measures to maintain the rise in average temperatures at the surface of the globe below the threshold of 1.5°C.
The six largest oil companies on the planet have also reaped record profits in 2022, notes Amnesty International, which criticizes the sector for making “little case” of the environmental impact of its activities.
The human rights organization denounces, in the section of the report dedicated to Canada, the country’s “failure” to take the “necessary measures” to help limit global warming below the critical threshold established by the scientific community. .
She also criticizes the authorities for not doing enough to mitigate the impact of the crisis on indigenous communities, who continue to struggle with multiple violations of their fundamental rights, including “access to drinking water , education and health care”.