Sixteen arrested after police station protest

Police and protesters outside Cardiff Bay police station on Monday evening
Police and protesters outside Cardiff Bay police station on Monday evening [Mitch McGivern]

Sixteen people have been arrested on suspicion of violent behaviour at a police station following pro-Palestinian protests in Cardiff.

The arrests occurred after a protest took place "in the front desk area" of Cardiff Bay police station on Monday evening, hours after a man was arrested at an earlier demonstration, South Wales Police said.

Cymru Students for Palestine claimed police "assaulted" those who were "peacefully occupying the reception" at the police station.

Videos shared on social media appeared to show protesters demonstrating outside the police station, with others forming a human chain inside the doors of the station.

A protester is also seen being dragged along the ground by police.

Police said the individual was under arrest, and "the officer concerned can be seen using reasonable force in light of the individual clearly resisting arrest".

The force added "no injuries were sustained by any protesters taking part".

South Wales Police said a protest involving between 50 and 60 people took place in central Cardiff on Monday afternoon, during which a 36-year-old man from Swansea was arrested on "suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway and conspiracy to commit public nuisance".

A "further spontaneous protest" took place at Cardiff Bay police station on Monday evening, with 16 people arrested on "suspicion of violent behaviour at a police station", the force said.

All those arrested remain in custody and enquiries are ongoing, it added.

Cymru Students for Palestine said it was "disgusted and furious" at police behaviour.

South Wales Police has been approached for further comment on the claims.

Adam Johannes, from Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, said the protest's aim was to highlight public support for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip that would "save thousands of lives".

He said the anti-war movement in Wales was granted a "new sense of urgency" by Israel’s military campaign in Rafah, in southern Gaza, in particular an air strike on a camp for displaced Palestinians last month that killed 45 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

"We all know that if the US and its allies, such as Britain, imposed sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel, the slaughter would stop tomorrow," he said.

Israel has insisted that it must take Rafah to achieve victory in the war triggered by Hamas's unprecedented attack on the country on 7 October, during which about 1,200 people were killed and 252 others were taken hostage.