Two in hospital after police fire on Dutch COVID-19 protesters

THE HAGUE, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Two people were treated in Hopital in Rotterdam on Saturday after being seriously injured when Dutch police fired shots during a violent protest against COVID-19 measures, authorities said.

crowds of several hundred rioters in set on fire auto’s, set off fireworks and threw stones at the police during the protests on Friday evening. police responded with warning shots and water cannons.

Rotterdam police said: on Twitter Saturday die 51 people had been arrested, half of die were under 18.

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“Two rioters were injured when they… hit by bullets, they remain in hospital, police added.

The city’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said the protest had changed in ‘an orgy’ of violence”.

“The police were forced to draw their weapons and even… fire direct shots,” he told a news conference early on on Saturday.

Dutch justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said: in a statement the “extreme violence” against police and fire fighters in Rotterdam was “repulsive”.

People protest during demonstrations against measures coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Nov. 20, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

“The right to protest is very important in our society, but what we saw last night was just criminal behavior,” Grapperhaus said.

Protesters gathered to voice resistance to government plans to limit access to indoor locations to people who have a “corona” pass”, showing that they have been vaccinated of to have already recovered from an infection.

The pass is also available until people who have not been vaccinated, but have proof of a negative test.

organizers of a planned protest Saturday in Amsterdam against the coronavirus measures said they have the . had canceled event after Friday’s violence.

Yet several thousand demonstrators showed up up for a march around the city’s central Dam. The march was peaceful, guarded by a heavy police presence.

Later on on Several hundred protesters on Saturday who Remained behind gathered on the Museumplein, a tourist hotspot, also closely in monitored by the riot police present.

in South city of Breda, a musical protest called by local DJs against current COVID-19 measures, including the closure of 8 p.m. of bars, restaurants and clubs, attracted a few hundred people.

The Netherlands has again introduced some lockdown measures last weekend for the first three weeks in an attempt to delay a revival of infection met the coronavirus, but the daily infections are on their highest levels since the start of the pandemic. read more

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Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg and Anthony Deutsch; adaptation by Jane Wardell, Ros Russell, William Maclean

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News


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