On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke at length about “human rights” concerns the US had in relation to Russia, Belarus, Cuba and other countries, and singled out Moscow over its detention of opposition vlogger Alexei Navalny and the “violent crackdown” against protesters demanding his release.
The Russian Embassy has taken to Twitter to invite the US State Department to pay more attention to human rights violations in America itself before attacking Russia.
“@StateDeptSpox keeps criticizing Russia for assumed human rights violations. Meanwhile, it’s high time the #US drew its attention to the internal situation”, the Embassy tweeted, accompanying the post with a link to a new Russian Foreign Ministry assessment of the human rights situation in several dozen nations, including America.
🔻@StateDeptSpox keeps criticizing 🇷🇺 for assumed human rights violations. Meanwhile, it is high time the #US drew its attention to the internal situation. Here are some guidlines:
— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) August 12, 2021
In the Russian-language document, the Foreign Ministry pointed to alleged US “gross violations” of human rights “both inside and outside the country, including through illegal unilateral coercive measures (sanctions), the most egregious example of which is the ongoing blockade of Cuba, despite numerous United Nations General Assembly resolutions”.
“However, this does not prevent the US from positioning themselves as a ‘world standard’ in the protection fundamental freedoms. Even non-governmental organizations loyal to Washington admit that the state of affairs on human rights is getting worse in the country every year. At the same time, criticism about the real human rights situation in the US continues to be ignored by authorities. Instead, Washington looks for ‘violations’ anywhere but at home,” the Foreign Ministry report suggested.
The report goes on to point to a long and growing number of basic human rights concerns facing Americans, from rising social inequality and poverty to racism, discrimination, police violence, mass shootings, mass surveillance of Americans by the government and private corporations, problems related to the country’s outsized penal system, which disproportionately affects minorities, lack of access to clean water, lack of access to abortion rights for women, and other hot button issues.
The report, which is based almost entirely on the studies by US-based human rights groups, non-governmental organizations and research institutions, also noted that the coronavirus pandemic had “exacerbated growing internal tensions in the United States and hit the most vulnerable populations,” who faced record job loss, an inability to pay for basic medical treatment, and even food insecurity while the wealthiest Americans grew wealthier amid the crisis.
“US violations in the field of international humanitarian law on the territory of third countries also cannot be left unmentioned. Thus, under the traditional pretext of ‘fighting terrorism’, the United States has used military force abroad, which invariably has led to casualties among civilian populations,” the Foreign Ministry report noted. It recalled the ongoing detention of dozens of inmates at Guantanamo Bay, the operation of secret CIA prisons and ‘black sites’ in other countries, and Pentagon’s failure to combat the rise of hateful, racist and radical ideologies in the military.
The document pointed to the continued illegal detention of Julian Assange and the threat of his extradition to the United States on trumped up espionage charges, as well as attacks on, surveillance of and smear campaigns against other publishers, journalists and media figures.
Finally, the report pointed to the “far from perfect” Us electoral system, including a “lack of transparency in elections, limited voter access, lack of alternative candidates, and the concentration of access to the right to be elected in the hands of the wealthy strata of the population – that is, everything that Washington is accustomed to blaming other countries for.” This state of affairs, the report suggested, “has led to a record decline in the level of public confidence in the electoral system over the past 20 years.”
In his remarks Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US was “watching very closely” the situation surrounding the new charges by the Russian investigative committee against liberal opposition vlogger Alexei Navalny, and the Russian government’s other ‘violations’, including the “violent crackdown” on his followers, and “efforts to intimidate and to suppress those organisations, NGOs, independent organisations that are allied with Mr. Navalny.”
“So in many ways, this is just a continuation of a very disturbing pattern. The United States continues to stand on the side and stand with the many Russians who we saw not all that long ago, again, peacefully take to the streets to hold their government to account, to express their aspirations for greater freedoms, to protest the repression and the level of repression that – tow which they have been subject,” Price stressed.
The spokesman went on to express US “human rights” concerns in Cuba, Belarus, and Syria.