Dr. Abdolreza Faraji Rad, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, stated that with the global outbreak of the corona virus, the current human rights order has somewhat collapsed: Before the corona outbreak, countries were divided into two groups in terms of human rights issues. Some developed countries that respected or partially respected human rights, and the second group, those who did not pay much attention to this issue and were mainly in the Third World bloc; Of course, some powerful countries were also in this category.

Forgetting Human Rights Principles with Outbreak of Corona in Some European States

He added that with the outbreak of corona and shortage of hospital facilities and services to patients, many countries claiming to respect human rights in Europe and outside the continent, including the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden, which were at the top of the list of claimers, showed when they are short of facilities or are unable to cope with the crisis caused by the outbreak of the virus, they will forget about human rights as well.

“In Italy, in the early days of the outbreak of the disease in Europe, there was an age limit for patients who came to medical centers, and the elderly were worse off,” said the geopolitical professor. Their bodies were now left to die without the possibility of using respiratory services. In Sweden, which is known for respecting the principles of human rights at the international level, it has been stated from the outset that due to lack of facilities they cannot be accountable to all patients and those over 65 should not go to the hospital even if their condition worsens. They will not be hospitalized if they go anyway! Faraji Rad, referring to a report published by the BBC, thirty families in Sweden had to keep their loved ones with corona infection at home and lose their lives due to lack of access to facilities. “Those families believed that if the hospitals had admitted them, they could live for another 20 years.

He described the situation of patients with corona in the early weeks as similar to that of the United States and Britain, adding: “On the contrary, in some third world countries, including Iran, in the early days of the virus outbreak despite shortage of facilities and medical servicers no patient was rejected.  In Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan, no patients were denied hospitalization.

“Approaches in treating patients with corona have shown that human rights in some countries may be more important under normal circumstances, but they under special situations like outbreak of contagious diseases or war may be forgotten and the human aspects may be somehow overlooked.

Need for Countries, Human Rights Organizations to Pay Attention

Faraji Rad said: “It remains to be seen what position countries and human rights organizations will take after the end of corona in the face of these events. Of course, some human rights organizations have voiced some criticism in this regard, but we hope that this issue will be given more attention in the future.”

Political Outlook on Human Rights

Emphasizing that human rights are real but they get politicized, he added: “In the Bosnian war, we saw that Europe, which claims to advocate human rights, did not take a stand against the brutal massacre of Muslims by Serbs for a long time, and then began taking position and dispatched troops to the region. However, following an agreement with the Serbs the Dutch forces retreated overnight in the Serbrenitsa region, and the Serbs massacred 12,000 innocent people in the area, hose remains are still hot in the heart of the Bosnian nation.

Faraji Rad said: “Where the interests of the countries demand, they will respect issues such as human rights although they ignored this in relation to corona. Countries align their views with their allies, their interests, and the pressures they face from the outside.