Netherlands: injured by police gunfire in Rotterdam during a demonstration against partial containment measures due to Covid-19

Several hundred people gathered in the city center before riots broke out. The number of people affected and the severity of their injuries are still unknown.

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Protesters against partial containment measures due to Covid-19 were injured by gunfire from Dutch police on Friday, November 19 in Rotterdam (Netherlands). “There were injuries linked to the shots fired”, specified the police (in Dutch), after having warned that a “demonstration (…) degenerated into a riot” and to have “carried out several shots [de sommation]. The number of injured and their state of health is still unknown.

Hundreds of people had gathered a little earlier from 8 p.m., according to the daily By Telegraaf (in Dutch), in Coolsingel Street, located in the city center. Afterwards, “Fires were started in various places, fireworks were fired”, continues the local police. For safety reasons, the central train station and a metro station were closed.

The previous week, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had announced the reintroduction of partial containment with a series of health restrictions, notably affecting the restaurant sector, to cope with a record number of Covid-19 cases. Bars and restaurants must close at 8 p.m., at least until December 4. Dutch police had used a water cannon to disperse demonstrators in The Hague on the day the measures were announced.

Police also arrested fifteen people in a city in the north of the country last Saturday after clashes between law enforcement and hundreds of people unhappy with the early closure of bars due to Covid-19.

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