There shouldn’t be double standards on human rights issues

What the recent incidents in Ethiopia reveal is that most international organizations that claim to stand for human rights either use double standards or have their own hidden agenda that goes beyond human rights.

As has been witnessed repeatedly, they tend to apply different sets of principles for situations that are, in principle, the same. Not only that, they have been also witnessed ignoring to report real human rights violations like the one occurred in Mia Kadra where there is clear evidence.

On the other hand, they are quick to report some alleged violations that are spread by propaganda machines of the now defunct junta in Tigrean People’s Liberation Front’s. For an observer, it raises a question why are they really quick to spread lies and why do they ignore to report real human rights violations?

A clear testimony to this claim is the story dated February 11, 2021, titled ‘unlawful shelling of Tigray urban areas’ reported by Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa Director, Human Rights Watch. The story seems to be biased, grossly exaggerated, and shameful, as put by Global Ethiopian Advocacy Nexus (GLEAN).

Responding to the story, GLEAN asserted it is incomprehensible that a prestigious organization that protects and fights for all human rights abuses picks and chooses which life is more valuable and which life is not.

While the whole story is biased and totally based on lies, there are clear evidences for other human rights cases of abuse that Ms. Bader and the organization as a whole conveniently ignored.

First, as mentioned above, nearly 1200 people were massacred  in Mai-Kadra by the retreating TPLF forces and its cohorts as it fled across Tigray and over to Sudan. And GLEAN expressed its disappointment over this says “although these killings were verified and reported by several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, we have not so far to our knowledge heard any report or condemnation of the act from Ms. Bader or the organization.”

Rather, it is sad to witness Human Rights Watch being engaged in a cover-up and promoting the TPLF’s misinformation campaign playing victimhood after the mayhem they instigated.

And as GLEAN clearly stated Ms. Bader’s attempt to corroborate her statement with evidence she obtained by interviewing refugees in Sudan who are the killing squad members, called Samri, was disrespectful of the people who were the victims of this genocide.

Again, everybody seems to forget or purposefully ignore what instigated the conflict at the first place. It was the TPLF’s treacherous attack on the northern command of the National Defense Force that gave the government no choice but to conduct a law enforcement operation. But these so called rights groups never mentioned or condemned this act. This is despite the admission by TPLF of a preemptive strike on the Northern Command Base to take control.

This kind of approach to the issue is posing a question on the credibility of the so-called rights groups. What should be underlined here is that, if Human Rights Watch and other similar organizations do genuinely stand for human rights than anything else, they should once again demonstrate it abiding by time-honored approach of independent and non-biased investigative reporting. There shouldn’t be double standard on human rights.

The Ethiopian Herald February   18/2021

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