Russia has accused the United States of using “unjustified cruelty” against Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The Russian foreign ministry’s human rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov, said most of the Occupy movement’s actions were “peaceful” and criticized the authorities for using undue violence against the protesters.
“As for the reaction of the authorities to these protest actions, including in the United States, we can point to the presence in it of elements of unjustified cruelty and in some cases of the disproportionate use of force,” Dolgov said in a statement on Tuesday.
“News channels regularly show scenes of violent dispersions by police of camps and peaceful demonstrations,” he said.
There have been dozens of reports of police violence since the anti-greed movement began in September. In one particularly shocking incident, a police officer shot pepper spray at protesting students at the University of California in November.
Last week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of backing anti-government protests in Moscow and other cities and said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments on the elections had “given a signal” to the protesters.
Tens of thousands of people gathered near the Kremlin on Saturday to protest against alleged fraud at the December 4 parliamentary elections, which saw Putin’s ruling United Russia party just maintain its parliamentary majority.
Smaller rallies were also held in St. Petersburg and other cities.
Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the vote was “slanted in favor of the ruling party.”