Iran calls on US to 'stop the practice of racism and inhumane behaviour'

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said America has ignored problems in its own county

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The Independent US

Iran has called on the US to end racism and discrimination – as protests continue to rage across America over alleged police brutality against black people and minorities. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said America was operating to double standards and needed to take a close look at itself, according to the Fars New Agency.

“The US administration has continuously criticised other countries and made an instrumental use of human rights and adopted double-standard criteria in the last few decades, while it has ignored the domestic situation at home,” Ms Afkham said on Sunday.

“It is expected from the US administration and judiciary to comply with their duty and take lawful and just actions in dealing with their citizens and stop the practice of racism and inhumane behaviour.”

A protest against Eric Garner's death, outside the Barclays Centre where William and Kate were meeting Beyonce and Jay Z

Iran itself certainly does not have a clean bill of health when it comes to inhumane behaviour. Human Rights Watch claim that Iranian authorities have subjected political prisoners to abuse, and that women still face “discrimination in many areas including personal status matters”.

The country also “restrict[s] political participation and employment of minority groups, who account for about 10 per cent of the population".

Ms Afkham’s cautionary statement comes as nation-wide demonstrations, from New York City to San Francisco, fill America’s streets following this month’s announcement that a grand jury would not indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed unarmed 43-year-old Eric Garner, who later died, in a chokehold.

The decision was taken despite the city's medical examiner ruling that the death was homicide and the New York Police Department’s ban on chokeholds, as they are dangerous.

A recording of Mr Garner's arrest showed him gasping, “I can't breathe” during the fatal encounter and attorney general Eric Holder has said the US Justice Department will conduct an investigation into the incident.

Tensions were already high following last month’s separate grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August.

Last night more than 200 protesters gathered outside the Barclays Centre in New York City, chanting “Hands Up, Don't Shoot” and “I can't breathe”, in reference to the two men’s deaths.