Fri, 03 Dec 2021

THE HAGUE, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday strongly condemned violence over the past three days in cities across the Netherlands against COVID-19 measures and warned that everything possible will be done to punish rioters.

"These are not corona protests, but pure violence by idiots, which has nothing to do with demonstrating," Rutte said after consulting his fellow ministers.

"I realize that tensions are high because we have been dealing with the misery of corona for so long, but we will never accept that idiots use violence against people who are in the field for you and me to keep this country safe," he said.

For the third night in a row, it was restless in various Dutch cities. On Sunday evening, there were violent incidents reported in Enschede, Groningen and Roosendaal. An emergency order was in effect in Enschede and Groningen, which enabled the police to restore order.

Five arrests have been made so far in Enschede and three in Groningen. In Roosendaal, among other things, fire was set at a primary school, heavy fireworks were set off and a car caught fire. Fifteen people have been arrested for disturbing public order in the southern Dutch city.

Earlier on Sunday, soccer matches in the Dutch top-flight league were disturbed. In Rotterdam, 24 arrests were made at Feyenoord's De Kuip stadium after fireworks were thrown at the police.

On Saturday night, there were violent protests in the Hague, Urk, Bunschoten, Spakenburg, Katwijk, Stein and Roermond. Nineteen rioters were arrested in the Hague.

The current unrest started on Friday evening in Rotterdam, when around 49 people were arrested for public assault, incitement and violation of the emergency order. Four people were injured in Rotterdam and sent to hospital for treatment.

The protests were intended against the COVID-19 measures and especially the proposed 2G (vaccinated or cured) policy of the Dutch government. The government on Friday proposed to make 2G pass mandatory for certain situations where the risk of infection is greatest and for events that otherwise cannot take place.

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