Demonstrations have also been held outside Tehran’s missions in Paris and Berlin over young woman’s death in custody
Demonstrators hold placards, following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, outside the Iranian Embassy in London. AP
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People have been protesting outside Iranian embassies in European capitals over the death of a young woman in “morality police” custody.
Several police officers were injured and 12 arrests made outside the London embassy in Kensington for offences including violent disorder, the Metropolitan police said.
French police fired tear gas and used anti-riot tactics to prevent hundreds of people protesting in Paris from marching on Tehran’s embassy, witnesses said.
Iran, meanwhile, summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors over what it called interference and hostile media coverage of nationwide unrest caused by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, the semi-official Isna news agency said.
Iran has been rocked by protests after the death of the Kurdish woman while she was in the custody of Iran’s morality police, reportedly because they did not like the way she wore her hijab.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Iran’s crackdown on protests was “unjustifiable” and “unacceptable”, as Tehran vowed no leniency against the unrest gripping the country.
In London, there have been continuing protests at the embassy. On Sunday, a large number of demonstrators gathered and police said they were intent on causing disorder.
Police reinforcements were called when protesters tried to breach police lines and threw objects at officers.
“We are aware of a number of police officers who received injuries while dealing with the disorder,” London police said. “None of those are thought to be seriously hurt.”
Scotland Yard said the disorder at Sunday’s protest initially broke out in the area of the embassy before moving to Marble Arch and then to Maida Vale, where the Islamic Centre of England was targeted.
Of the injured officers, five were take to hospital with serious injuries, including broken bones.
Video footage shared online showed protesters shouting and pushing against officers who had formed a line in front of the embassy.
One clip showed two officers wrestling a protester to the ground when he apparently broke through the line. Elsewhere, riot police could be seen trying to clear protesters off the road near Marble Arch.
“We respect the right of people to protest peacefully and always work with organisers to make that possible,” police commander Karen Findlay said.
“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.” .
Tear gas in Paris
In Paris, protesters also clashed with police.
Police in full anti-riot armour, backed by a line of vans, blocked the path to the Iranian embassy a short distance away and fired tear gas to disperse protesters.
“I don’t feel good, it was catastrophic,” said one protester recovering from the effects of the gas.
Police confirmed that tear gas had been used.
“On several occasions groups tried to break through the roadblock set up near the Iranian embassy. The police used … tear gas to repel them.”
About 4,000 people had gathered for the demonstration. One was arrested and one officer was slightly hurt, police said.
“For the European Union and its member states, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against non-violent protesters is unjustifiable and unacceptable,” Mr Borrell said on behalf of the EU.
Angry demonstrators across Iran have taken to the streets to denounce the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in police custody. AFP
Moves “to severely restrict internet access by the relevant Iranian authorities and to block instant messaging platforms is a further cause for concern, as it blatantly violates freedom of expression”, he said.
At least 41 people are reported to have died in demonstrations in Iran, mostly protesters, according to an official toll.
Ms Amini was arrested on September 13, accused of having breached rules that mandate tightly fitted hijab head coverings. She was also wearing ripped jeans and brightly coloured clothes.
Iran’s judiciary chief on Sunday “emphasised the need for decisive action without leniency”.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s website said it summoned UK ambassador Simon Shercliff on Saturday and protested against the hosting of critical Farsi-language media outlets.
The ministry claimed the news outlets have provoked disturbances.
Updated: September 26, 2022, 8:37 AM