Friends and foes criticise US | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:15 AM, June 03, 2020

Violent race unrest in US

Friends and foes criticise US

With US cities in flames over outrage about police brutality, nations that are usually on the receiving end of Washington's criticism on human rights are gleefully turning the tables.

Condemnation of the US record on race came from China, which days earlier faced US counter-measures for tightening controls on Hong Kong, as well as Iran, where officials have been slapped with US sanctions for suppressing protests in November.

The United States is experiencing some of its worst riots in 50 years with dozens of cities under curfews following the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who pleaded "I can't breathe" as a white police officer pinned him under his knee for nearly nine minutes.

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam yesterday accused the United States of applying "double standards" in its response to violent protests after US ended the city's special trading status.

"Racism against ethnic minorities in the US is a chronic disease of American society," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi echoed the language frequently voiced by President Donald Trump's administration in its support for opponents of the clerical state.

"To the American people: the world has heard your outcry over the state of oppression. The world is standing with you," Mousavi said.

Solidarity protests have taken place in US friends including UK, Ireland and New Zealand. Allied governments have spoken in general terms about US police brutality, without criticizing Trump.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell yesterday urged US authorities to rein in the "excessive use of force", and said the 27-nation bloc supports the right to peaceful protest.

Europe is "shocked and appalled" by the police killing, the EU's diplomatic chief said, condemning an "abuse of power".

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that US police should show restraint "as in any other country in the world" and that police worldwide need human rights training.

Germany's foreign minister yesterday said the peaceful demonstrations in the United States are "more than legitimate".

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