A HUMAN rights campaign group has said that the arrest of anti-monarchy protesters in London is “something you would expect to see in Moscow not London”.

It comes as the head of leading movement Republic has been arrested with footage emerging on Twitter of organisers being apprehended by police.

The UK director of Human Rights Watch Yasmine Ahmed said in a statement: “The reports of people being arrested for peacefully protesting the coronation are incredibly alarming.

“This is something you would expect to see in Moscow not London. Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power to account, something the UK Government seems increasingly averse to.”

Many politicians have also taken to Twitter to react, with SNP MP Joanna Cherry writing: “This is not on. As the @HumanRightsCtte has repeatedly emphasised the state has a positive obligation to facilitate the right to peaceful protest. I shall be taking this up in parliament.”

Her thoughts were echoed by fellow SNP MP Chris Law who described the scenes as an “utter disgrace”.

He added: “Arresting peaceful protesters will only backfire and will further the decline of support for the monarchy.”

Speaking to The National, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “I think it’s outrageous. It seems England is now a country where the freedom to protest peacefully has ended.

“People here should pledge our solidarity with those arrested in London today.”

Elsewhere, National columnist Kirsty Strickland said: “Pre-emptive arrests of peaceful protesters ahead of a taxpayer-funded propaganda orgy.

READ MORE: Republic leader arrested at coronation protest in London

“Happy and glorious, eh?”

Meanwhile, campaign group Our Republic, set to hold a rally at Calton Hill in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, said they had “no concerns” about any arrests at their event.

“In case you were wondering how democracy was doing in this new modern monarchy …

“A reminder – the new authoritarian protest laws do not apply in Scotland. We have no concerns about similar happening at our rally”, a statement said on Twitter.

A statement on the Metropolitan Police’s Twitter account said: “A significant police operation is under way in central London. We have made a number of arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace.

“The individuals have been held on suspicion of breaching the peace.

“Earlier today we arrested four people in the area of St Martin’s Lane. They were held on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. We seized lock-on devices.

“A further three people were arrested in the area of Wellington Arch. They were held on suspicion of possession articles to cause criminal damage.

“There will be further updates later today.”