Human rights groups and politicians in Britain are criticizing the law enforcement response to King Charles III’s coronation, following the Metropolitan Police’s arrests of dozens of demonstrators during Saturday’s pageantry.
Republic, an anti-monarchy group that organized a protest in central London during the coronation, said police arrested six of its members, including leader Graham Smith, and seized hundreds of placards even before its event began.
Smith, who said he was released from police custody later that day, declared on Twitter, “There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK.” He added: “I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms. Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.”
Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. director of Human Rights Watch, was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as calling “the reports of people being arrested for peacefully protesting [against] the coronation … incredibly alarming.”
“These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK,” she tweeted. [Continue reading…]