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Five police wounded after being pelted with bricks during clashes with protesters against Iranian regime
25 September 2022, 19:58 | Updated: 24 November 2022, 18:56
Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in London demanding regime change in Iran after a Kurdish woman was allegedly tortured to death for breaking the country’s hijab laws.
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Violence broke out near the Iranian embassy in London, before moving to Marble Arch and Maida Vale where the Islamic Centre of England was targeted.
Police said five officers were left with serious injuries including broken bones after being pelted with masonry, bottles and other projectiles. 12 people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Protesters at the demonstration, which took place outside the Iranian embassy in Princes Gate in Knightsbridge, were calling for 'death to the Islamic republic', and waved the flag of Iran's former regime, which ended in the 1979 revolution.
BREAKING....It's kicking off outside the Iranian embassy in London. pic.twitter.com/VEUhCqbbFW— Stan Voice of Wales 🚩🕉️ (@StanVoWales) September 25, 2022
Commander Karen Findlay said: “We respect the right of people to protest peacefully and always work with organisers to make that possible, but we will not tolerate unprovoked attacks on our officers as we have seen today or protest that leaves other communities feeling unsafe.
“We have officers in hospital tonight because they were attacked in what was a significant outbreak of violent disorder. We will make sure they get the support they need.
"We have already made a number of arrests, but we know there are people who were not caught tonight who committed serious offences.
"In the coming days, we will be using all the tools at our disposal – including CCTV and other footage – to identify those people and bring them to justice."
The crowds were part of a wave of protests that has broken out in Iran and across the world since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in police custody. Ms Amini was arrested for not wearing a hijab and died on September 16.
Thousands of protesters had already gathered in London on Saturday (September 24) to march against the Iranian regime.
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Footage shared on social media shows the scenes becoming violent. Protesters appeared to try to breach a line of police standing in front of the Iranian embassy.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said five officers had been hurt, although none had received serious injuries.
Another video shows protesters appearing to clash violently in the street with people who are supportive of the Iranian government.
A spokesperson for the Met said: A policing operation has been in place for ongoing demonstrations in the vicinity of the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate, SW7.
"During the afternoon of Sunday, 25 September a large number of protesters gathered at the location, with a substantial group intent on causing disorder.
"Further police resources were brought in to support those on the ground after protesters attempted to breach police lines and had thrown missiles at officers.
"Five arrests have been made for offences including violent disorder. We are aware of a number of police officers who received injuries while dealing with the disorder; none of those are thought to be seriously hurt.
"A significant policing presence will remain in and around the area to monitor the situation."
Dozens of people have been killed in the protests in Iran, which is ruled by an authoritarian Islamic regime.
The country's security forces opened fire on protesters and used teargas in a scramble to clamp down on the uprisings in recent days. The unrest has spread across the country to over 50 major towns and cities, including the capital Tehran.
Among those killed are a 16-year-old boy, an Iranian police officer, and a member of the pro-government militia. As well as the deaths, over 450 people have been injured and a further 500 have been arrested.
Many women have removed and even burned their headscarves in protest against the morality police. “No to the headscarf, yes to freedom and equality”, protesters have been heard shouting in Iran.
To suppress the protests, the Iranian government have now restricted access to the internet. Access to Instagram has been curbed in the country, one of the few available social media platforms in Iran with millions of users.