Protest in opposition to Covid-19 guidelines in Prague escalates into clashes with police (VIDEOS)

Czech riot police deployed tear fuel, flashbang grenades, and a water cannon to disperse a crowd of protesters who refused to depart Prague’s Previous City Sq. after a rally in opposition to authorities measures to combat the coronavirus.

The defiant demonstrators, who have been recognized by the native media as radical followers of assorted sport groups, clashed with the police, pelting the officers with stones and firecrackers. A number of dozen individuals have been reported injured within the skirmish, together with members of the police pressure.

The rally was gathered to object to the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic. A type of guidelines triggered the violent confrontation. Gatherings of greater than 500 individuals are at the moment banned within the Czech Republic, and even smaller ones require individuals to put on face masks and unfold in teams of as much as 20 individuals separated by not less than two meters.

The municipal authorities estimated that round 2,000 individuals flocked to the sq., and ordered the rally to disperse. Whereas many of the demonstrators complied, some refused and as a substitute confronted the police. Dozens of arrests have been made in reference to the riot.

Inside Minister Jan Hamacek praised the police response and accused “a number of hundred hooligans” of instigating the violence. Prime Minister Andrej Babis instructed Czech media he was “shocked” by the rioters’ actions and accused them of endangering themselves and others. “I’m in favor of harsh punishment of their case,” he mentioned.

The police mentioned the skirmish was prearranged by a bunch of organized troublemakers. They mentioned they intercepted a number of the individuals, who have been going to the sq. with an intention to combat, and seized weapons, pyrotechnics, and different harmful objects.

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