June 21, 2020 / 3:58 PM / 20 days ago

Dutch police arrest dozens after protest over coronavirus restrictions

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Police in The Hague arrested dozens of people on Sunday after they refused to leave a protest against the Dutch government’s social distancing measures put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

About a thousand protesters had gathered in the Malieveld area in The Hague, close to the Dutch seat of government, even though the rally had been banned by the municipality.

“The remaining demonstrators on the Malieveld who refused to leave have all been arrested,” the police tweeted on Twitter, without saying how many people had been detained.

Dutch media said about 100 people were arrested. A witness gave a similar estimate.

The authorities had allowed a brief protest to go ahead before asking demonstrators to leave. Police made the arrests when a small group of about 200 people refused to leave, the witness said.

Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Edmund Blair

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