By cracking down on Covid-19 protesters at home, the West has lost all credibility in preaching about ‘human rights’ to Russia | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

By cracking down on Covid-19 protesters at home, the West has lost all credibility in preaching about ‘human rights’ to Russia

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has slammed Lithuania, accusing the Baltic nation of showcasing double standards in supporting civil unrest abroad while cracking down on protesters railing against coronavirus restrictions back home.

Moscow’s diplomatic spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, argued that the divide embodied the West’s inconsistent passions for human rights. In January, Vilnius accused the Kremlin of “Stalinism” in its response to unauthorised rallies, banned under pandemic rules. This, Zakharova said, was in sharp contrast to how Lithuanian police deployed tear gas against Covid-19 demonstrators in the capital last week, with the government insisting “democracy is not anarchy”.

Zakharova’s diagnosis is that the West’s coverage of protests in its own backyard is remarkably different to its reporting of Russian demonstrations. When civil unrest occurs in the West, there are strict lines drawn between legitimate peaceful protests and illegal or violent gatherings. There is not an assumption of virtue for those holding signs and chanting against the government, as made clear by the media’s utter derision for anti-lockdown protesters or “populist” protesters on the political Right. In the US, even those protesters who didn’t enter the Congress on January 6 have been labelled “domestic terrorists”.

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