x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Worldwide protests against clampdown

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities around the world, including Dubai, to protest against the policies of the Iranian government following elections there last month.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities around the world yesterday to protest against the policies of the Iranian government following elections there last month. People in 60 cities including Dubai, London, Amsterdam and Berlin took part in Amnesty International's "Global Day of Action in Iran". About 60 people gathered at the Jumeirah Beach Residence, wearing green T-shirts and carrying placards and green balloons.

They marched along The Walk as far as the Hilton hotel, where they were forced to disperse by police who said they were not allowed to gather without prior permission. "I am here to show my support and make a stand that democracy should be respected," said Sarah, 30, whose mother is of Iranian descent. Bahar, a 31-year-old Iranian, said: "This is the only thing I can do to support our brothers and sisters in Iran who are dodging bullets.

"We have done our job," said Shahin, a 35-year-old protester. "People all over the world know that the people of Dubai came to the streets for the struggle; we are all united. "Things have definitely changed in Iran. Two months ago, no one would have dared to say anything against [Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, but now they are." In Amsterdam, more than 100 people turned out, and Shirin Ebadi, Iran's Nobel peace prize winner, was due to address the rally.

In London, hundreds of people gathered outside the Iranian Embassy. Demonstrators waved banners and sang protest songs while passing cars hooted support. nsamaha@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse