Watch Dutch COVID riots ‘pure violence’ by ‘idiots’: PM Rutte | Coronavirus pandemic News – Al Jazeera English News

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Rutte says police and the judiciary will do everything they can to find the perpetrators which, according to the PM, had ‘nothing to do with demonstrating’.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has criticised three nights of riots over anti-COVID measures, calling the unrest “pure violence” by “idiots” and vowed to prosecute these accountable.

The riots in a number of cities across the nation since Friday had been “violence under the guise of protest”, the prime minister mentioned. He added he would all the time defend the fitting to protest, however “I will never accept is that idiots use pure violence against people … who keep this country safe,” he informed Dutch media.

In response to Rutte, the police and the judiciary will do every little thing they’ll to search out the perpetrators of the riots which, in keeping with the prime minister, had “nothing to do with demonstrating”.

Police fired photographs in Rotterdam and about 145 folks had been arrested throughout the Netherlands over three days of unrest sparked by COVID restrictions. “People want to live,” mentioned one of many organisers of the Dutch protests, Joost Eras. “That’s why we’re here.”

Whereas this was not the primary, it was one of many worst outbreaks of violence within the Netherlands since COVID restrictions had been first imposed final 12 months.

In January, rioters had attacked police and set fires on the streets of Rotterdam after a curfew got here into power.

The nation is greater than per week into western Europe’s first partial lockdown this winter.

On Monday, Austria launched the most dramatic COVID restrictions seen in Western Europe for months with a full lockdown.

Austria can be imposing a sweeping vaccine mandate from February 1, considered one of few international locations on this planet to announce such a step to date.

A crowd of 40,000 marched via Vienna on Saturday decrying “dictatorship”, whereas some 6,000 folks protested within the metropolis of Linz on Sunday.

Vienna’s rally was organised by a far-right political social gathering, and a few protesters wore a yellow star studying “not vaccinated”, mimicking the Star of David Nazis compelled Jews to put on in the course of the Holocaust.

Dr Michael Ryan, the World Health Group head of emergencies, mentioned: “Quite frankly, some countries are in such a difficult situation now that they’re going to find it hard not to put in place restrictive measures, at least for a short period of time, to reduce the intensity of transmission.”

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