Dutch police arrest 7 people amid unrest in The Hague

Dutch police arrest 7 people amid unrest in The Hague

The Hague Police arrested seven rioters in The Hague on Saturday night after youths set fire to the streets and threw fireworks at officers. The unrest came a day after police shot protesters in Rotterdam amid what the coastal city’s mayor called an “orgy of violence” that erupted in a protest against coronavirus restrictions.

Elsewhere in the Netherlands, two top-flight football matches were suspended briefly after fans – banned from matches under a partial lockdown in force in the Netherlands for a week – stormed stadiums in the towns of Alkmaar and Almelo.

Earlier on Saturday, peaceful protests against the coronavirus measures erupted in Amsterdam and the southern city of Breda.

The police said in a tweet on Twitter that seven people were arrested in The Hague and five officers were injured. One needs to be treated in hospital.

Local media outlet Regio 15 reported that rioters threw bicycles, wooden platforms and scooters into one of the fires.

ad

The riots in The Hague were on a smaller scale than fierce battles in the streets of Rotterdam on Friday night, when police said three rioters were shot and investigations were underway to see if they had been shot. Police said earlier that two people were injured. The condition of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

Police in Rotterdam have arrested 51 people, nearly half of whom are minors, police said Saturday afternoon. One police officer was taken to hospital with a leg injury in the riots, another was treated by ambulance crews, and “countless” were slightly injured.

Mayor Ahmed Abu Talib told reporters in the early hours of Saturday morning that “on a number of occasions the police felt it necessary to withdraw their weapons to defend themselves” as rioters broke out in the coastal city’s central shopping district, setting fires and throwing stones and fireworks. in the officers.

ad

“They shot the protesters, and people were injured,” Abu Talib said. He had no details of the injuries. The police also fired warning shots.

As police comb through video footage from surveillance cameras, they expect to make more arrests.

Pictures from the scene showed at least one police car ablaze and a bicycle hitting its windshield.

Riot police and a water cannon restored calm after midnight.

It was one of the worst outbreaks of violence in the Netherlands since coronavirus restrictions were first imposed last year. In January, rioters attacked police and set fire to the streets of Rotterdam after a curfew came into effect.

Justice Minister Fred Graberhaus condemned the events.

“The riots and extreme violence against police officers, riot police and firefighters last night in Rotterdam is disgusting,” he said in a statement.

“Protest is a great right in our society, but what we saw last night is just criminal behaviour. It has nothing to do with protesting,” he added.

ad

Police units from across the country raced to Rotterdam to help bring the situation under control Friday night. Abu Talib said that gangs of football rioters were involved in the riots.

A video from social media broadcast by Dutch broadcaster NOS showed a person being shot in Rotterdam, but there was no immediate word on what happened.

The police said in a tweet on Twitter that “it remains unclear how and who was shot”, apparently.

An independent investigation has been opened into the police shootings, as is the case whenever the Dutch police use their weapons.

The government has said it wants to enact a law allowing companies to restrict the country’s coronavirus passage system to only people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 – which would exclude people who have tested positive for the virus.

The country has seen record numbers of infections in recent days and a new partial lockdown came into effect a week ago.

ad

Local political party Levbar Rotterdam condemned the violence in a tweet.

“The center of our beautiful city this evening has turned into a war zone,” she said. “Rotterdam is a city where you can disagree with the things that happen but violence is never, never, the solution.”

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *