Dutch PM slams lockdown riots, calls it ‘criminal violence’
AMSTERDAM (NETHERLANDS) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday condemned riots across the country this weekend, when demonstrators took to protests and attacked police, setting fires and raising voices against a night-time curfew to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Mark Rutte called them “criminal violence”.
The police said hundreds of people had been detained after incidents that began on Saturday evening and which lasted until the wee hours of Monday.
Rutte told reporters outside his office in The Hague, “This has nothing to do with protest, this is criminal violence and we will treat it as such.”
Rutte’s government implemented the curfew as an additional lockdown measure from Saturday amid fears that the British variant of COVID-19 may soon result in an increase in cases.
There have been 13,540 deaths in the Netherlands from COVID-19 and 944,000 infections.
The police trade union NPB said there could be more protests ahead, as more and more people were increasingly growing frustrated with the country’s months-long lockdown.
Union board member Koen Simmers said on television programme Nieuwsuur said, “We haven’t seen so much violence in 40 years”.
Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma said, “When police said the demonstrators were violating the country’s current lockdown rules “they took weapons out of their pockets and immediately attacked the police”,