What`s wrong with US remark on fast: Team Anna

Responding to a US State Department official`s call for "restraint" in dealing with Anna Hazare`s proposed fast, Prashant Bhushan said it`s the duty of a nation to speak up if a country was violating its citizens` rights.

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2011, 12:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Responding to a US State Department official`s call for "restraint" in dealing with Anna Hazare`s proposed fast from August 16, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan on Saturday said it`s the duty of a nation to speak up if a country was violating its citizens` rights.

"If they feel and see that human rights, democratic rights of people to protest are denied, then every country has a right and a duty to tell the government of that country that this should not be done," Bhushan told a news channel.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington DC, that it counted on a democratic India to "exercise restraint" against peaceful protesters.

"As you know, we support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world," Nuland said when asked if the US was concerned over alleged police brutality against peaceful demonstrators in India.

"That said, India is a democracy, and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest," Nuland said, responding to a question about planned protests against corruption from August 16.

The External Affairs Ministry Friday termed the US spokesperson`s remarks as "needless" and said freedom of speech and expression as well as of peaceful assembly are enshrined in the country`s constitution.

IANS