Protesters in Gateshead call on government to close embassy in Iran

Protesters have turned out on Gateshead's Quayside to demonstrate against the regime in Iran and call for the British Government to close its embassy in Tehran.

The protesters were standing in solidarity with the women of Iran, who they claim have no human rights in the country.

It comes 10 weeks after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody sparked nationwide demonstrations in Iran.

She had been arrested by the morality police for allegedly failing to cover up her hair with a hijab.

In response, a crackdown by the Iranian police has led to the deaths of at least 448 people and arrests of more than 18,000 others, according to human rights groups, although the Iranian authorities have only reported 200 deaths, including security forces.

One protester in Gateshead told ITV News Tyne Tees: "I’m asking the British government close the embassy and stop supporting whatever they do."

Human rights groups say a crackdown by Iranian police has led to the deaths of at least 448 people. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Another said: "We’re here today to raise awareness of what’s happening and in the hope that the governments around us and the UN and these organisations can step in an help the people in Iran."

Attempting to raise awareness of the unrest in Iran, one man said: "They (Iranians in Iran) are very, very brave. They don’t have any voices. We are here to be their voices."

Standing in solidarity with the women of Iran, a female protester said: "We haven’t got any freedom for women. There is no human rights for them and the kids, they are very, very tense and they don’t have any freedom as well, especially the youth."

Another women added: "A lot of my people have also been killed, so seeing that the young people are rising against the tyranny of this regime, I would like to see it stopped."

Iran has consistently denied allegations of human rights violations and the Iranian foreign ministry dismissed a recent UN probe into the allegations as "biased, politically-motivated and deplorable".

A spokesperson for the UK's Foreign Office said: “The UK position is clear: we will hold the Iranian regime to account for the horrific violence inflicted on its own people, including through our sanctions, and by working with partners in international fora like the UN.”

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