Over 120 police violence complaints after Hague protest

Since police intervention at a protest on the Malieveld in The Hague on Sunday, six charges and 120 complaints of police violence were filed at The Hague police. A police spokesperson told NU.nl that most of the complaints came from people who were not present at the demonstration.

Human rights organization Amnesty International called on the Public Prosecution Service (OM) and mayor Jan van Zanen of The Hague to investigate the actions of the police at the protest against the coronavirus lockdown. The organization will not press charges, leaving that up to the victims. According to Amnesty International, images from the protest definitely raise concerns about excessive force. “Several officers hit people on the head with their baton. Dangerous and almost never justified,” the organization said on Twitter.

A police dog handler also pressed charges after he and his dog were pelted and cornered by protesters, according to NU.nl. Police chief Paul van Musscher told Omroep West that more officers will file charges.

The police in The Hague said it received many questions about the police actions at the demonstrations and therefore created a website with answers to the most frequently asked questions and a complaint form. Among other things, the answers state that violence was also used against the police. “This started with laser pointers, which resulted in an eye injury to one officer, followed by throwing heavy fireworks, threats with thick power lines (a melee weapon that can easily be hidden under clothing) and a fighting dog. At these moments we stepped forward to maintain order,” the police said.

The OM said that it is too early to say whether the judicial authorities will launch a criminal investigation into police violence. “The police are busy compiling the facts and circumstances of the incidents. The OM is also having a look,” the Prosecutor said in a response.

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