Index - Abroad - Several injured, 51 detained due to protest in Rotterdam

Seven people were injured in police shootings in Rotterdam on Friday night during a violent demonstration against epidemiological restrictions.
Police said they were taken to two rebel hospitals after bullets hit them. An investigation is underway to see if the shots fired by the police hit them. The condition of the injured scavengers was not made public.

A VoaNews authorities said 51 people had been detained, half of them minors. According to official information, one of the police officers was hospitalized with a foot injury and several were sustained with minor injuries.

Video recordings from security cameras are also being reviewed, so further arrests are expected. Photographs of the scene show that at least one police car was set on fire and a bicycle slammed into another’s windshield. Assault police used water cannon to restore order on the streets.

The mayor of the Dutch port city, Ahmed Abaotaleb, called what happened “violence”.

Police admitted that the warning shots were fired several times. At one point, the situation became so dangerous that police were forced to shoot, one official said. Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said on Friday night:

we fired warning shots and there were also targeted shots because the situation was life threatening.

Hundreds have gathered, according to the telegram office, to protest the government’s plan to allow only those with a security clearance to enter the indoor nightclub. The demonstration became very violent. Because of this, police immediately imposed emergency measures in the city, urging residents to leave the streets, and deployed water cannons and cavalry cops against protesters. Police officers were also being sent to Rotterdam from other parts of the country. Police were also injured in the clashes.

As a result of the serious incidents, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb strongly condemned the violent protesters and issued a decree prohibiting civilians from being present at the demonstration site, Central and another railway station. Rail traffic has been suspended in the city. The latter restrictions had already been lifted in the morning.

The Netherlands reintroduced some epidemiological restrictions for three weeks last weekend to slow the re-emergence of coronavirus infection, but daily infections have remained at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

(Cover image: Rotterdam street scene after the demonstration. Photo: Jeffrey Groeneweg / AFP)

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