The Hypocrisy and Double standard of the Western governments
Comparing the cases of Geert in the Netherlands and Merara in Ethiopia
By Abdu Ahmed
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Dec. 11, 2016
The last two weeks very interesting developments were observed. The first one was the arrest of the Dr. Merara Gudina in Ethiopia and the verdict of Geert Wilders of the leader of the far right in the Netherlands. The arrest of Merara was simply, he violated the state of emergency. His case under investigation and it is to be seen if the investigation will provide enough evidence to take him to the court of law. That is what we call due process of law, one cardinal principle in any democracy.
We observed reactions from the west to put pressure on Ethiopia. The European Parliament as it is the case in the past, attempted to move urgent motion for a resolution. However, the ALDE and EPP did not agree support the move and for now the concerted effort by S&D and the Greens was put to the rest. Thanks to those who stood for reasons and understanding the partnership between EU and Ethiopia was based on mutual interest and respect. Thanks to those who believe partnership is not about dictate terms but work together and cooperation’s. Thanks also to those who believe the era of donor receipt relations was over and the new era of partnership is now the rule of the engagement. The whole argument the west was pursing was Dr Merara is a leader of political party. The government of Ethiopia stood its ground based on the principle of the rule of law that it should respected by one and all. It further expressed that everybody is equal before law. Nobody gave it a serious regard and consideration to what the Ethiopian government reasoned out.
In a very apparent contradiction and hypocrisy, the leader of the largest and popular far right party in the Netherlands was taken to court and penalized for insulting and inciting discrimination against Moroccans in the Netherlands. The judge precisely in the same argument as the government of Ethiopia pursued in the case of Merara justified the verdict. He was not spared from appearing in the court and from the penalty because he is the leader of a political party in fact in the middle of an election campaign. Here is what the presiding judge of the panel of three Judges said " No one is above the law" including politicians. That is precisely what the government of Ethiopia said in the case of Merara and others in the past. The judge further said " If a politician crosses the line, that does not mean free speech is being restricted ". I could not agree more.
A crime cannot be protected by the right of free speech and the ruling was not an attempt to neutralize the leader of the largest and the most popular opposition party in the Netherlands, concludes the Judge. What a revelation. What makes the argument made by a judge in the Netherlands from what the government of Ethiopia made. Essential, nothing. While for same principle of rule of law applied in Ethiopia, many foul cries and threatening to penalize to the government of Ethiopia. In an apparent hypocrisy and double standard, no country, no MEP or EU institution expressed any concern about the decision of the court against the leader of largest and most popular political party. Then why it is a crime when a political leader like Merara is arrested in Ethiopia breaking the rule of law while it is not in an EU members state? Is it not a double standard? Is it not because Ethiopia is a poor, African country use the EDF? How could one possibly justify such a selective application of democratic standard on an African and European country?
That does not give Europe a moral authority nor will it help consolidate and strengthen democracy in Africa? Europe should not send wrong signals who are committing crimes in Africa in the name political leaders. The best in fact EU should do is tell those who act above the law, to respect the law of their countries. Mixing lawful and unlawful acts cannot promote peace and stability in Ethiopia and in Africa. Please stop attempting to do things in Africa that you do not do in your own countries. Stop preaching water and drinking wine.