A peaceful protest against coronavirus pandemic-related lockdown measures in the Netherlands was broken up by police, who used violent tactics as a method of disbursing protesters.
Video footage capturing the event shows protesters being struck by police vans, police using batons to beat protesters, and attack dogs being employed to subdue demonstrators.
A warning gunshot was also fired against protesters, which the Dutch police say they are investigating.
According to BBC News, protesters had gathered in a park in The Hague, the country's seat of government, to demonstrate. Protesters who refused to leave after the demonstration ended were subject to violent attacks by police. An unspecified number of protesters were arrested during the event.
While the protest was officially limited to 200 people, more than 2,000 people ended up attending. The Dutch authorities shut down train networks in order to prevent more people from reaching the demonstration.
The protest comes as Dutch citizens head to the polls for the 2021 general election. Polling data suggests an easy win for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). The party's leader, Mark Rutte, has been incumbent as Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010.
It is not the first time that the Dutch police have been caught on video using violent methods to subdue anti-lockdown protesters. Footage from January shows such protesters beings truck by water cannons while others were seen with their faces bloodied as a result of the police's use of force. The January protests began after the Dutch government implemented its first curfew since the Second World War.
Under Dutch coronavirus-related restrictions, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited and non-essential businesses such as restaurants remain shuttered across the country.
Despite the restrictions, the Netherlands has among the highest coronavirus infection rates of any major country, with over 1.1 million recorded cases. More than 16,000 people have died of the virus across the country.
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