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COVID-19 reveals West's double standard on human rights, says Egyptian activist

2021-08-05 read:20

Airport staff members unload the first batch of Chinese Sinovac vaccine raw materials from a plane at the Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt, May 21, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

CAIRO - The COVID-19 pandemic has proven Western countries' double-standard policies on human rights are designed merely to serve their own interests, an Egyptian activist has said in an interview with Xinhua.

"When the crisis took place, those Western countries cared only about themselves and forgot about the idea of humanitarianism and the idea of sharing," said Essam Shiha, president of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).

The crisis has proved "the falsity of Western thought," Shiha said.

While the pandemic requires fruitful international cooperation in providing vaccines and medical assistance for poor countries, Western states have not fulfilled their responsibilities, said the Egyptian activist, adding that some developing countries are still unable to provide vaccines for citizens, while rich ones boasting about human rights have monopolized knowledge and failed to support humanity across the world.

"We have also seen the pressures exercised by the United States on the World Health Organization (WHO) as we've seen the attempts of some Western countries, from the very beginning, to politicize the pandemic," said Shiha.

Western powers use human rights issues to exercise political pressures and interfere in other countries' domestic affairs to achieve their own interests, while "poor countries fall prey to this exploitation," he said.

In contrast, as one of the first countries to share knowledge and expertise, send medical aid to other countries, and develop vaccines, China has succeeded in dedicating its scientists and capabilities to serving humanity, said Shiha.

"Some thought China would deal with the crisis individually, but, on the contrary, it was keen to exchange relevant information with other states, publish all updates about the crisis and provide support and treatment protocols to developing countries," he said.

Shiha described China's cooperative approach to the crisis and its medical assistance to developing states as "a wonderful humanitarian message."

Egypt, though suffering from a shortage of medical supplies, has also provided some aid to such countries as Libya, Sudan, and Iraq, said Shiha.

China and Egypt have recently celebrated the joint production of 1 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt.

The WHO praised the cooperation in a statement earlier in July as "a successful model for international cooperation and transfer of global expertise, which contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals."

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