An outbreak of protests were reignited on Monday, after the Grand Jury announced its decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Those protests, which in some cases led to rioting and looting, were met by a militarized police force in the city of Ferguson.
The United States’ response to the protests has drawn criticism from countries like Russia and North Korea, which have been previously criticized by the U.S. for human rights violations.
The Guardian reported that both officials in Moscow and pro-Kremlin bloggers are comparing the recent events in Ferguson to “the Maidan protests in Kiev which began a year ago and ended in February with the overthrow of the Ukrainian president,” and claiming that there is a “double standard in Washington supporting the protesters in Kiev but clamping down on them at home.”
A statement from the human rights commissioner for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Konstantin Dolgov, criticized the United States for using “military methods against peaceful civilians,” which are only “likely to further inflame the situation.”
“Such a massive explosion of public indignation and the disproportionate reaction of law enforcement bodies confirm again that this is no isolated incident but a systemic flaw in American democracy, which has failed to overcome a deep racial split, discrimination and inequality.“
Dolgov went on to say that the United States should focus more on the problems it has in its own country, before criticizing other countries:
“The recent events in Ferguson are the latest and most worrying sign yet to American authorities that it is finally time for them to focus on the serious internal problems they have with human rights, using the recommendations of international human rights organizations, rather than using their efforts on pointless and fruitless lectures and propagandistic moralizing with regards to other countries.”
A spokesman for the North Korea Foreign Ministry also released a statement criticizing the United States for its inconsistent human rights standards:
“This is clear proof of the real picture of the U.S. as a tundra of human rights, where extreme racial discrimination acts are openly practiced,” said the spokesman. “The great irony is that the U.S. tries to measure other countries with its wrong human rights standard, though it is a typical human rights abuser.”
Yahoo News reported that North Korea’s criticism came just a week after the United Nations “adopted a landmark resolution urging the Security Council to refer North Korea’s leaders to the International Criminal Court for possible indictment on crimes against humanity.”
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, released a statement urging the United States to practice “restraint,” and to find a “determined effort to root out institutionalized discrimination.”
“It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,” said Zeid. “I urge the U.S. authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.”