Throughout the handling of the pandemic, various Governments across the world have been scrutinised for their coronavirus measures. The latest scrutiny has been directed at the Netherlands, which has been in the grip of protests for over a week.
The protests turned into riots when police clashed with those standing in civil disobedience against their Government’s hard lockdown for their rights to peacefully assemble. This resulted in various Executive Orders being signed by Government officials giving the police greater powers to arrest protestors and rioters. The use of water cannon and tear gas has been attempted to disperse those who defy curfews imposed by the Government.
In the most recent case of violence against civilians, an unarmed protestor was slammed into a wall by a water cannon jet aimed at her and a fellow protestor. A video was later circulated virally on social media of the woman being led away bleeding from a gash on her head. It was later confirmed that she has suffered a fractured skull, but is stable and currently being treated.
According to an article by the BBC, the unrest was initially seen as a response to the first “stay-at-home” order imposed since the Nazi occupation in the country during World War Two. This notion has been dismissed by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said the rioters were simply criminals and would be treated as such. This unrest comes as protests have been ongoing against stringent measures being introduced in several countries across Europe, including Poland, Spain, Italy and Denmark.
Many ordinary citizens have been using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to support their cases against the Government in court. Returning to this country, the UK Government has decided not to mandate closing down churches during this lockdown, but is requesting that they do so as lawsuits mount across the United Kingdom. A News18 article also stated that the two women fined £200 by the police have received apologies and the fine has been revoked, despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock firmly backing the police’s stance on the matter.