Even Russia Is Criticizing The Police Crackdown In Ferguson

Even Russia Is Criticizing The Police Crackdown In Ferguson

WASHINGTON -- As clashes continue between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, Russia's Foreign Ministry suggested on Wednesday that the United States should "pay closer attention" to its internal struggles over race and ethnicity.

Konstantin Dolgov, the ministry's human rights commissioner, said the situation in Ferguson should have a "sobering effect" on American society.

"We think U.S. authorities should pay closer attention to burning internal problems, including those related to ethnicity and race that still exist in the United States," Dolgov told the news channel Rossiya 24. "Try to solve them via legal constitutional practices rather than unjustified and inadequate violence."

"What is happening in Missouri right now should have a sobering effect on U.S. society and authorities," he added. "They are systematic problems. They are by no means limited to one particular city or state."

Dolgov criticized the police's use of force against protesters in Ferguson and the treatment of journalists covering the story on the ground, several of whom were arrested or detained over the last week. Dolgov said such actions appeared to stem from a desire to prevent Americans from seeing negative images of their own government.

Russia, of course, is no stranger to being criticized for human rights violations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has fiercely cracked down on dissidents, including journalists, government whistleblowers and average citizens. Earlier this year, the international watchdog Human Rights Watch said the climate in Russia was the worst in post-Soviet history.

But countries like Russia, China and Egypt appear to be relishing the events in Ferguson, which they see as hypocritical given the U.S. government's tendency to denounce the conditions in their countries. State-run media in both China and Russia has aggressively targeted the U.S. over Ferguson, while Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for "restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion" in Ferguson.

Like Russia, both China and Egypt are known for their repressive governance and are frequently described by international watchdogs as notable abusers of human rights.

In Egypt, it is illegal to protest without prior permission from authorities. The government has locked up thousands of people without fair trial, and more than 800 protesters were killed last year in the Rabaa massacre. The Chinese government also frequently cracks down on protesters and faced a U.N. review of its human rights record for tightening its controls on ethnic minorities, such as the Tibetan and Uighur populations.

See updates on the situation in Ferguson below:

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