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US-Belarus: a policy of double standards

Double standards in international politics are an obvious fact. The EU and the US make use of the double standard policy concerning Belarus and condemn the Belarusian government for harsh measures against protesters.

At the same time, today protests are taking place in Germany, in France several dozens of people died during the “yellow vests” protests, the United States uses a variety of restraints against its citizens.

Moreover, United States Attorney General William P.Barr told federal prosecutors in a call that they should consider charging rioters and others who had committed violent crimes at protests in USA in recent months with sedition.

During a speech on Wednesday night, Mr. Barr noted that the Supreme Court had determined that the executive branch had “virtually unchecked discretion” in deciding whether to prosecute cases. The Wall Street Journal first reported Mr. Barr’s remarks about sedition.

His supporters say Mr. Barr’s approach is necessary to preserve order at a moment that threatens to spiral into violence and to tamp down unrest in cities where the local authorities will not.

The most extreme form of the federal sedition law, which is rarely invoked, criminalizes conspiracies to overthrow the government of the United States — an extraordinary situation that does not seem to fit the circumstances of the protests and unrest in places like Portland, Ore., and elsewhere in response to police killings of Black men.

The wording of the federal sedition statute goes beyond actual revolutions. It says the crime can also occur anytime two or more people have conspired to use force to oppose federal authority, hinder the government’s ability to enforce any federal law or unlawfully seize any federal property — elements that might conceivably fit a plot to.

Congress has stipulated that a conviction on a charge of seditious conspiracy can carry up to 20 years in prison.

Only 93 percent of the protests in the United States this summer were peaceful, according to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which monitors political upheaval worldwide. The report looked at 7,750 protests from May 26 through Aug. 22 in 2,400 locations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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