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Belgium: 70 held for protesting against COVID-19 restrictions

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 23 Jan 2022, 09:18 pm Print

Belgium: 70 held for protesting against COVID-19 restrictions Belgium COVID19 Restrictions


Brussels/UNI/Xinhua: Police fired water cannon and tear gas during a protest against Covid-19 restrictive measures here.

Some 50,000 people staged the protest in the streets of the Belgian capital, according to authorities on Sunday.

Police officers deployed water cannons and tear gas after violent clashes erupted midway, as rioters began hurling trash cans, barriers and other projectiles at the police.

The police made about 70 arrests.

Three officers and 12 rioters were taken to hospital, local media reported.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, quoted by news agency Belga, said on Sunday evening following the protest that "our society will never accept blind violence."

"Difficult day today in Brussels. Nothing can justify the physical attacks of which the police have been victims. In consultation with the king's prosecutor, we will do everything to identify the perpetrators," Brussels mayor Philippe Close tweeted.

The organisers, whose main request is said to obtain a "real public debate on the measures," had also invited protesters from other European countries. Dutch, Polish, French and Romanian flags could be seen in the crowd.

The number of Covid-19 infections continued to rise sharply in Belgium.

The government on Friday announced the introduction of a coronavirus barometer to gauge the seriousness of the pandemic.

The barometer, consisting of three color codes, will come into effect on Jan. 28.

Last November, roughly 35,000 protesters took part in demonstrations in Brussels that started peacefully but later turned violent.