Holland bans gatherings after protests over police violence

Netherlands imposes temporary ban on public gatherings following three days of protest over death of Caribbean man in police custody

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Dutch police fired warning shots and arrested over 30 people on the third day of protests on Thursday over the killing of a Caribbean man while in police custody, prompting a temporary ban on public assembly in a neighbourhood in the west-coast city of the Hague.

Demonstrators have been clashing with police since Monday after Mitch Henriquez, 42, from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, died of asphyxiation when he was held in a chokehold and pinned down by five white police officers.

A report concluded that Henriquez’s death was almost caused by rough police treatment.The five officers involved in Henriquez's arrest have been suspended pending results of an investigation.

Riot police on horseback broke up a demonstration and charged protesters who set fires, hurled bottles and broke shop windows, according to a police statement.

Protesters said the death was racially-motivated and called for accountability from the Dutch police department, which has been scrutinised in recent years after reports of racial bias in police practices.

The protests have been likened to an incident in the United States that reignited public outcry over police conduct and the law enforcement’s use of lethal force against minority groups.

Over a hundred people were arrested since Monday and the mayor of The Hague imposed a rare temporary ban on public gatherings in the neighbourhood that has become the stage for race riots.

Under the measure, no more than three people are permitted to gather in one place while "dangerous objects" and scooters are prohibited, other local media reported.

TRTWorld and agencies