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Iran slams 'severe suppression' of protests in UK's Bristol

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British police make an arrest during a sit-in in the city of Bristol on March 23, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Iran says the UK needs to show how serious it is about respecting human rights after the "severe suppression" of peaceful protests in Bristol by its security forces. 

"We hope that the recent events in Bristol, England, which led to the severe suppression of the protesting people of this city by the police, will not be hidden from the eyes of alleged human rights advocates, including the officials of that country, and will be seriously investigated," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said. 

Bristol witnessed a peaceful protest last Sunday against a so-called Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, a sweeping legislation that widens the law enforcement’s latitude, including in the face of demonstrations, across England and Wales.

Following the rally, police alleged that the event had escalated into a riot and that some of their forces had suffered serious injuries as a result.

They retracted the statement later, but their version of the developments had already “set the tone,” according to The Guardian.

Two more peaceful protests took place later, including a sit-in, in which participants simply sat down outside the City Hall, chanting and handing out flowers to the police.

According to the locals, security forces waded into the sit-in with their horses and dogs and manhandled people on several occasions during both of the subsequent protests.

Khatibzadeh noted how Britain is in the habit of dishing out “interventionist remarks” about the treatment of people by police in other countries.

“However, it is now their turn to show how much importance they attach to their own people’s basic rights and excessive police violence,” he said.

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