Responding to a US State Department official's call for "restraint" in dealing with Anna Hazare's proposed fast from Aug 16, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan 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 Aug 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. (ANI)