360° Coverage : US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double...

1 Updates

US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double standards?

Dec 20 2013, 5:04am CST | by

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

Washington, Dec 20 — Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

39 weeks ago

US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double standards?

Dec 20 2013, 5:04am CST | by

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

Washington, Dec 20 — Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

It would appear so going by at least two recent cases relating to Saudi Arabian and Russian diplomats.

At Thursday's State Department press briefing, spokesperson Marie Harf had no clear answer to the difference in the treatment of Khobragade and "Saudi diplomats who allegedly committed even more egregious crimes."

According to the questioner, two Filipino women were rescued escaping the Saudi diplomatic military attaché's residence in a Washington suburb. But "no Saudi diplomats have been charged, none of them have been cavity-searched."

All that Harf could say in response was that she "was not aware of all the details of that case" and didn't "want to make a comparison about why something was or wasn't done.

"Each case is different, though," she suggested. "Obviously, we take any (such) allegation very seriously and we investigate them when they're brought to our attention."

But the case against the Russians really takes the cake particularly since it took place in the very borough Manhattan's India-born US attorney Preet Bharara, who has brazenly defended his actions against Khobragade as based on the principle of equality before law.

His office's "sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law - no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are," he said.

It took his office ten long years to make a case against 49 Russian diplomats and their spouses charged with scamming Medicaid, a government health care programme for low-income families, out of $1.5 million over a decade. All of them worked in New York either at the Russian mission to the UN, the Russian consulate or the Russian trade representation office when they committed the alleged fraud.

But Bharara could not lay his hands on any of them. For by the time he filed charges just a week before he chose to act against Khobragade, only 11 of them remained in the US. But none has been taken into custody as they all have diplomatic immunity.

Ten of them are diplomats working with the Russian mission to the UN and their spouses, and one is now stationed at the Russian embassy in Washington. But at the time of the charged offences, he was employed at the consulate in New York.

Harf Thursday suggested that Khobragade, who has been transferred to India's permanent mission to the UN, would not have "retroactive" immunity after her change of status from consular officer to diplomat. If so, how come, the Russian diplomat working in Washington is roaming free when the offence he is charged with took place when he worked at the Russian consulate in New York?

"Diplomacy should be about extending hands, not picking pockets in the host country," said Bharara at a press conference announcing the charges which have next to no chance of moving forward.

But Harf was more circumspect in saying they were still "reviewing the charges" and "the relationship is much bigger and deeper and broader and more complicated than that."

Like in Khobragade's case, Bharara's actions sparked outrage in Russia.

Rejecting the charges, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow had many claims against the behaviour of US diplomats in Moscow but had preferred not to bring them into the public sphere.

It has been two weeks since the charges were filed against the Russians. But to date Moscow has not waived their immunity nor has Washington asked them to leave!

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/27" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving diaspora in North America. Today it is a full-fledged, 24 by 7 agencies putting out the real-time news from India, South Asia and news of interest to this region around the world.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Pakistani president appeals for foreign investments
Islamabad, Sep 22 (IANS) President Mamnoon Hussain Monday called on foreign investors and industrialists to invest in Pakistan and take full advantage of a business friendly environment, as the government is implementing a liberal policy to promote trade and economic activities.
 
 
Russia wants economically stable Ukraine: Putin
Moscow, Sep 22 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia's banks should continue operating in Ukraine and help the country remain economically reliable and stable, despite troubled relations between the two countries.
 
 
UAE police investigating Indian girl's death at sea
Dubai, Sep 22 (IANS) Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are investigating the death of a five-year-old Indian girl, who was drowned while swimming with her mother in the turbulent sea Sep 18, a media report said Monday.
 
 
Iraq does not want foreign ground troops to fight IS
Baghdad, Sep 22 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday that Iraq rejects the presence of foreign ground troops in the country to fight the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Bindra announces retirement from professional shooting
Incheon, Sep 22 (IANS) India's only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra Monday announced his retirement from competitive shooting, saying the 2014 Asian Games would be his last, but added that he would...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ebola outbreak in DRC under control
Kinshasa, Sep 22 (IANS) The Ebola virus disease outbreak in Equateur province in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is being brought under control, an official statement citing Health Minister Felix Kabange...
Read more on Business Balla
 
23 suspected terrorists killed in Pakistan: Army
Islamabad, Sep 22 (IANS) At least 23 suspected terrorists were killed Monday in aerial strikes on terrorist hideouts in the country's tribal region of North Waziristan, the Pakistani Army said. According to a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
'Pakistan army chief exposed Imran-Qadri-US conspiracy'
Islamabd, Sep 22 (IANS) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahir-ul Qadri conspired with the US government to overthrow the government and it was exposed by...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Six killed in China fireworks plant explosion
Beijing, Sep 22 (IANS) An explosion at a fireworks plant in central China's Hunan Province left six people dead and 33 others injured Monday, authorities said. The blast happened at around 3 p.m. at a fireworks...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
16 Palestinians arrested in West Bank
Jerusalem, Sep 22 (IANS) Israel arrested 16 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank overnight, the Israeli army said Monday. Those detained were suspected of involvement in rioting and "terrorist" activities,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
IS seizes over 100 Kurdish villages in Syria
Beirut, Sep 22 (IANS/EFE) The Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical organisation has seized control over more than 100 Kurdish villages near Kobani city in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, a Kurdish source told Efe...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bahrain set to sign media agreement with India
Manama, Sep 22 (IANS) Bahrain is set to sign an information and media agreement with India, media reported Monday. The country's cabinet Sunday gave its initial approval to the proposed agreement presented by Minister...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Bangladesh empowers parliament to sack SC judges
Dhaka, Sep 22 (IANS) Bangladesh President Md. Abdul Hamid has given his consent to the 16th Constitution Amendment bill, empowering parliament to sack Supreme Court judges. The president endorsed the bill five days...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Asiad wushu: India assured of two medals
Incheon, Sep 22 (IANS) Wushu athletes Narender Grewal and Yumnam Sanathoi Devi assured India of two more Asian Games medals after winning their respective men's and women's quarterfinal matches at the Ganghwa Dolmens...
Read more on Sport Balla