The invasion of Ukraine has exposed the “double standards” of human rights internationally, a new Amnesty International report has said, with the West adopting a tough response to Russia’s war of aggression while also maintaining a “deafening silence” on rights abuses around the world.
The UK-based rights organization published its annual 2022 report on Tuesday, highlighting the state of human rights in 156 countries.
“In 2022, we had the fantastic example of how the world came to support and show solidarity with the Ukrainian people. But we did not have a similar kind of support and solidarity for the Palestinian people, the people of Ethiopia, Myanmar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary-general, told Al Jazeera from Paris on Monday.
The international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “robust and welcomed”, characterized by public denunciations and marked by “strong calls against the many war crimes being committed”, Callamard said.
“It was also marked by commitment and actual actions to support international investigation into those war crimes. The International Criminal Court did intervene very quickly and frankly, very unusually,” she added.
In March 2022, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan said he was opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, dating as far back as the 2013 Maidan protests.
At that time, demonstrations erupted in central Kyiv against the country’s then-Russia-friendly government and persisted until the fall of then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration in early 2014.
Earlier this month, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin for allegedly committing war crimes in Ukraine.
Callamard said because the reaction to Ukraine had been so “multifaceted”, covering many dimensions including the issue of Ukrainian refugees, it made the “silence, the indifference and the neglect very glaring” when compared with other instances of human rights violations.