Iran condemns UK police's treatment of Bristol protesters

Iran condemns UK police's treatment of Bristol protesters
2 min read
30 March, 2021
Iran's foreign ministry said it is time for UK authorities to show they cared about 'their own people and excessive police violence'.
UK police has responded to angry protests in Bristol [Getty]

Iran authorities have condemned UK police for their treatment of protesters in Bristol, who have rallied against a controversial new policing law.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said Tehran "hoped" that the "severe suppression of protesters by police" would be not be ignored "by the advocates of human rights".

In a statement published by state media, the spokesman cited UK officials' readiness to call out police brutality in other countries.

The UK has criticised Iran's violent suppression of demonstrations during the Green Movement in 2009 and more recently, which have resulted in the killing of scores of protesters.

Tehran said it is time for UK authorities "to show how they genuinely care about the primary rights of their own people and excessive police violence".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described the Kill The Bill protests as "disgraceful attacks against police officers in Bristol".

First aiders have treated at least five people with lacerations to their heads after protesters and first-aiders accused police officers used shields to injure protesters, The Guardian reported.

The injuries are consistent with the use of the edge of a riot shield, a tactic defended by Avon and Somerset police as legal and legitimate.

The force has accused a minority of protesters of showing hostility towards officers, including bottle and brick throwing. Ten protesters were arrested on Friday.

Read also: Kill the bill: Resisting a police state in the UK

Demonstrators are acting against a contentious bill, currently debated in Parliament, which gives the police stronger power to restrict protests.

Iran's condemnation of British policing comes despite its own chilling record of supressing peaceful protests, often resulting in fatalities.

An Amnesty International report released last March found that at least 23 children were killed by Iranian security forces during protests which rocked the Islamic Republic in November 2019. 

Amnesty believes hundreds of anti-government protesters were killed in the regime's crackdown over the span of four days.

Pro-Iran militias have also been accused of killing scores of activists in Iraq.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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