Iran condemns 'severe suppression' of UK protests by police - Balkan Times

Iran condemns ‘severe suppression’ of UK protests by police

The spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, has criticised the recent crackdown on protests by British police in Bristol and called for a serious investigation by human rights groups.

“We hope the recent incidents in Britain, which resulted in the severe suppression of protestors by the police, will not be ignored by the advocates of human rights, including the British authorities,” Khatibzadeh said yesterday. “We have always seen interventionist comments from British officials about police behaviour towards protestors in other countries, but it’s their turn now to show how genuinely they care about the primary rights of their own people and excessive police violence.”

Bristol has witnessed a week of unrest, with thousands of protestors gathering in the city centre to demonstrate against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which the opposition Labour Party has argued could lead to more serious penalties for damaging a statue than attacking a woman.

Many people have taken to social media to highlight what they say were cases of police brutality against the demonstrators. On Friday night there were ten arrests as riot police were seen pushing people to the ground with their shields.

One photojournalist for the Daily Mirror described being assaulted by police. “The officer pushed a demonstrator next to me,” explained Christopher Walls. “As I was moving back, he struck me with his baton. He hit my arm and camera and broke the flash.”

However, a senior police chief has defended the use of force against protestors, arguing that officers had faced “horrific” scenes. Chief Superintendent Claire Ames, head of operational support with Avon and Somerset Police, told BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday morning that, “The situation on Sunday night last week was horrific at the Bridewell Police Station and no-one wants a repeat of that. I don’t want anyone to be injured and I can’t stand back and allow officers to have bricks thrown at them, bottles thrown at them and be subject to a level of violence that’s unacceptable.”

The same police force quietly withdrew a claim that two officers sustained broken bones during the protest — dubbed “Kill the Bill” — last Sunday.

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered the city and its police his “full support” and described the attacks on police officers as “disgraceful”.

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