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Senior MP calls for intl commission to assess US domestic crisis in Ferguson

Published time: August 22, 2014 13:09
Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri August 18, 2014. (Reuters / Joshua Lott)

Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri August 18, 2014. (Reuters / Joshua Lott)

Deputy State Duma speaker Sergey Neverov has called for various international organizations to create a joint group to assess the US authorities’ handling of the ongoing protest in the town of Ferguson.

Neverov, who also chairs the majority United Russia caucus in the Lower House, has told reporters that the international community must not remain indifferent to the crisis situation in the United States – the country that presents itself as a model for democracy. “The events in Missouri have demonstrated that the United States have serious problems based on racial discrimination,” Neverov noted in a comment to the Russian daily Izvestia.

The politician said that United Russia wanted to set up a special commission manned with representatives of the UN, PACE and other international groups that would make contact with participants of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and investigate the lawfulness of the actions of US authorities and law enforcers.

Neverov added that the chairman of the Lower House committee for international relations MP Aleksei Pushkov (United Russia) could head the Russian part of the international commission.

In mid-August, Pushkov denounced the use of tear gas and rubber bullets in Ferguson as “a sign of dictatorship and an excessive use of force” by posting a message on his Twitter.

Izvestia quoted a source in the United Russia party saying they wanted the Russian part of the commission to be manned by MPs, who now participate in the Russian delegation in the PACE.

On Thursday a member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights suggested sending a peacekeeping mission of rights activists to Ferguson in order to stop the violence. Igor Borison told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the measure would prevent “a full scale genocide against its own population” in the United States.

Earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said that the unrest in Ferguson was a vivid demonstration of the extreme tensions that exist in modern American society. Dolgov called the curfew, the violent dispersing of rallies and the deployment of the National Guard to the area “a repetition of the race cataclysms” that have shaken the United States in the past.

While demanding that other countries guarantee the freedom of speech and stop suppressing anti-government protests, at home the US authorities never show any leniency towards those who actively express their discontent with inequality, de-facto discrimination, and the position of second class citizens. As we have all seen, reporters who perform their professional duty also get their share of ill treatment,” read the comment posted on the ministry’s website.

Tensions remain in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where the Missouri governor announced on Monday that he had ordered National Guard troops to be deployed to protect the area from “deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property.” The clashes resumed during the week as police used tear gas to disperse protesters. Law enforcers also used live ammunition against the crowd.

The initial protests were prompted by the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9.