Iran has condemned the actions of British police over their treatment of protesters in Bristol over the past week, referring to public demonstrations in opposition to a new controversial policing law.
A 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 in state media, Saeed Khatibzadeh highlighted the UK officials' inclination to call out police brutality elsewhere and urged the UK authorities "to show how they genuinely care about the primary rights of their own people and excessive police violence".
Protests erupted last week over elements in the Police and Crime Bill, which would restrict demonstrations that cause "significant disruption, distress or harm to local communities".
The events soon became violent, seeing law enforcement use batons and shields against the protestors. Prime Minister Boris Johnson slammed the 'Kill The Bill' protests as "disgraceful attacks against police officers in Bristol".
Police assaulted me at the Bristol protest even though I told them I was from the press. I was respectfully observing what was happening and posed no threat to any of the officers. I have muted the latter part of the video to spare you all the pain of hearing my shrill voice. pic.twitter.com/a7a0Nnw0bG— Matthew Dresch (@MatthewDresch) March 27, 2021
Police claim that a minority of protesters had displayed hostility towards officers, including throwing bottles and bricks, with 10 people being arrested on Friday.
The Guardian reported that at least five people were treated for lacerations to their heads after protesters and first-aiders accused police officers of using their shields to injure demonstrators. Avon and Somerset police defended the use of riot shields as legal and legitimate.
Britain has previously criticised Iran for its response to demonstrations, in particular during the 2009 Green Movement and more recent outbursts of public discontent.