The United Nations issued a rebuke against the United States on Friday, expressing its “profound concern” over Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describing Antifa “as domestic terrorists,” referring to a statement he released last month condemning violence from groups he said were infiltrating and exploiting the George Floyd protests.
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The international organization tweeted, “UN #HumanRights experts express profound concern over a recent statement by the US Attorney-General describing #Antifa and other anti-fascist activists as domestic terrorists, saying it undermines the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly in the country.”
The Washington Examiner reported that the same day, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, said, “International humans rights law protects the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. It is regrettable that the United States has chosen to respond to the protests in a manner that undermines these fundamental rights.”
The U.N. was responding to a statement put out last month by Pompeo, wherein he said, “With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.”
In conclusion, he wrote, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
The U.N.’s criticism comes after weeks of nationwide civil unrest in the U.S. over the death of Floyd, who died in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as the black man pleaded for air.
Otherwise peaceful protests often devolved into violence and looting, leaving businesses destroyed and several people dead in incidents linked to the demonstrations.
Earlier this week, Floyd’s family appealed to the U.N. to step in and “hold the United States accountable for police brutality and systemic racism,” Politico reported.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told the U.N. Human Rights Council, “my brother tortured and murdered on camera is the way black people are treated by police in America.”