Released: 18.10.2020, 21:26
Prague – Some participants in today’s demonstration against government anti-epidemic measures clashed with police officers after the official end of the event. Police attribute the attack to football hooligans. She detained over 100 people right on the Old Town Square, and secured another 50 before the start of the meeting because they carried weapons and pyrotechnics with them. Twenty police officers are injured, and some protesters suffered injuries. The attack was condemned by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and President Miloš Zeman.
The attackers threw bottles, stones, trash cans and firecrackers at the police. The police used tear gas, a water cannon or emergency explosives against them, pushing them out with horses and vehicles. He suspects the detainees of rioting, violence against an official or disobeying the call. She took them from the square to the police station. Almost a thousand police officers, including reinforcements from the regions, took part in ensuring order in the center of Prague.
Rescuers intervened on the spot with nine wounded, including three police officers. They treated head injuries, cutting injuries or the consequences of tear gas.
Prime Minister Babiš said that he was shocked by how ruthless and selfish some citizens are. He spoke in favor of strict punishment for the perpetrators of the conflict. He also thanked the police and said he was proud of their highly professional approach. Also, according to Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (CSSD), the police intervened in a completely professional manner. President Zeman condemned the protesters who did not comply with anti-virus measures during the demonstration. Representatives of the opposition also criticized the participants in the demonstration.
The event was convened by the civic association Movement of Civic Dissatisfaction. Football and hockey fans of various clubs have announced in advance that they will join it. The association originally had a two-hour program, but ended the demonstration after an hour. The municipality called on him to end the event because the number of participants exceeded 500 times. According to the office’s estimate, there were about 2,000, the same estimate was published by the police. Most of them did not have veils.
The demonstration was previously peaceful, with speakers criticizing the government and calling for its reconstruction. However, some participants also shouted nationalist slogans. The organizer has repeatedly vainly urged them to adhere to anti-epidemic measures, such as creating gaps. He also asked them not to be dragged into the violence and thanked the police for their approach.
Deputy Police President Martin Vondrášek told reporters today that the police had informed in advance that 300 to 500 radicals, mainly football hooligans, were heading for the meeting. According to him, four hundred of them arrived in their place. He added that the police could not intervene during the assembly due to the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble. She intervened only after the participants in the event unjustifiably attacked the police, he added.
The League Football Association has distanced itself from today’s events. She said she wanted to persuade the government to re-authorize sports competitions, but through factual dialogue, not by forced enforcement. Sports competitions are banned in the Czech Republic until the beginning of November, based on government measures against the spread of coronavirus.