MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. The United States and international rights organizations ignored the mid-September detentions of protesters in New York and Houston, demonstrating double standards to human rights issues in various countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
In a statement released via Facebook, the ministry said that although US local and federal authorities had sufficient time to prepare official comments on those cases, they preferred to keep silent about them. Leading US-based human rights organizations also decided to stay aside and to ignore those arrests.
"They simply paid no attention to these protests. For instance, Human Rights Watch, which is well known in Russia, supported unauthorised rallies in Moscow practically on a daily basis," the ministry said. "But they did not find the protests in the US to be such a concern. Their website or public statements by their activists do not contain even a sentence about the recent massive detentions in Houston and New York."
The ministry went on to say that a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dated September 15, 2019 "looks cynical against this backdrop." In the statement, timed to coincide with the International Day of Democracy, Pompeo emphasized his country’s "unwavering commitment to the unalienable rights" and expressed concern over "the global trend of shrinking civic space." He also assured that his country would "continue to be a leader in protecting civic space to bolster the foundations of democracy."
"This is a graphic example of double standards. Posing as a global leader in protecting basic rights and freedoms, Washington does not stop at suppressing them when it finds this convenient - this time at home. Apparently, the main goal of US politicians and diplomats in this situation is to continue preaching their "universal" values to other countries," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Protests in US
On September 12, a group of Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from a bridge in Houston, unfurling banners related to environmental issues. As a result, traffic was blocked, and police arrested 11 participants of the campaign.
On September 15, New York police arrested 76 participants of a sit-in, organized by the Close the Camps movement at a Microsoft store. The movement, campaigning for closure of camps for illegal migrants, demanded that the company refuse doing business with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.