Some western countries speak for human rights, but support racism

Published : 02 Oct 2023 10:03 PM

Some western nations keep on lecturing and criticizing other nations' about the protection of human rights, the right to freedom, tolerance etc, however; in practice they act in contrary when it doesn’t serves their own interests. 

The US, Canada, UK, and some European nations are used to clamp sanctions on other nations that violate human rights or participate in racism or discrimination. Righteous indignation should be reserved for the truly righteous.  However, these countries are tub thumping about human rights in such manner as though they serve as the global standard-bearer for human rights and other nations should serve their purpose in matters of human rights. 

Some 14 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel, the Marshall Islands, France, Germany, Netherlands and Slovenia voted against the UN resolution that demanded action to end racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. However, 106 nations, including Bangladesh, voted in favor. 

Odhikar Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan who was awarded two-year imprisonment in a case lodged under ICT Act for running a distorted information and doctoring images regarding the law enforcement agencies' action on a rally of Hefajat-e-Islam in capital’s Motijheel on May 5-6, 2013. 

Odhikar in its report posted on its website, reported that 61 people were killed in the police raid on that night. It also ran some grisly but doctored images over that raid.  The story was completely politically motivated, fabricated and false. As part of the blue print this story was published in a bid tarnish the image of the govt.

But, it is very unfortunate to all of us that the western nations without scanning, checking and rechecking the story,  express concern over the imprisonment of Adilur Rahman Khan.

On another occasion, the European nation voted against specific measures to stop intolerance in 2022 along with its allies, notably the UK and the US, during the 51st regular session of the UN Human Rights Council. Other countries that voted against this call include France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, and Montenegro. Thirty-one nations voted in favor of the call, seven abstained, and nine others against it. However, the call was accepted.

Despite being leading global proponents for human rights, the United States and Canada have protected the individuals who murdered the founding father of our nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family. The self-declared killers have been living in the US and Canada that speak out about human rights, but give refuge to these self-confessed murderers. These countries should be ashamed of such disgraceful activities. Their words and actions do not match each other.

Recently, US has been criticized for its unpredictable and unreasonable measures against Bangladesh and its people on human rights issue. It is important to note that none of the important human rights documents adopted by the United Nations (UN) or other human rights bodies were completely ratified or complied with by any major international power and this includes the US.  Despite its claims to be the protector of global human rights, the US has refused to ratify important human rights agreements like the American Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, all of which are parts of the International Bill of Human Rights.  

The only nations that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are the United States and Somalia. Additionally, the US has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' first Optional Protocol.  The United States did not sign the UNCLOS, which is a treaty governing maritime law. It is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2022 as a permanent international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for the worst crimes, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. 

While the US rushes to condemn and denounce human rights abuses occurring outside of its boundaries, its record on these issues is undoubtedly far from perfect and, in some circumstances, unbelievable.  Without a doubt, US is the nation with the most instances of police violence.  Even though they were at the time defenseless and without weapons, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake were all killed by US police.  Including instances that occurred after May 2022, US police killed approximately 9,000 people between 2013 and May 2021. At least 1,124 persons in the US died because of police abuse in 2021 alone. Most of the victims had either committed minor or no offenses at all. 

Given its dismal record on human rights, US's attempts to lecture the rest of the world on the subject are a farce.  The US probably needs to reflect and should first solve its human rights issue before lecturing other nations on their failings in this area. 

 The writer is a diplomatic 

correspondent of 

Bangladesh Post