SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Europe last week witnessed widespread protests against restrictions imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus.
In the Netherlands, people took to the streets in different cities against a nationwide curfew.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Museum Square in Amsterdam and were held back by police, which responded by water cannons and stun grenades. Hundreds were arrested, with vehicles also being torched.
The country on Jan. 12 extended lockdown measures until at least Feb. 10 due to a new variant of the virus that is said to be more contagious and perhaps deadlier.
Restrictions were further tightened on Jan. 23 with the enforcement of a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 4.30 a.m. — a first since World War II.
People have been advised to stay home and only go out to shop for essentials, seek medical attention, go to work or attend school if remote learning is not possible.
People gathered in the capital Vienna on Sunday. There were occasional tensions with the police and over 2,000 demonstrators were fined violating restrictions. Many were also arrested.
National lockdown measures were extended on Jan. 17 until Feb. 8.
At least 300 people were arrested in the Belgian capital Brussels on Sunday.
Besides the closure of restaurants, bars and cafes, measures such as nighttime curfews, ban on gatherings, mandatory work from home and a halt on cultural, artistic and sporting activities are also being implemented.
On Jan. 30, people gathered in the country’s second-largest city Arhus against the restrictions in place since last month.
In Bulgaria, employees of restaurants, bars, discos and nightclubs which were closed in November, held a demonstration in the capital Sofia on Jan. 27, demanding the resignation of Health Minister Kostadin Angelov.
They said that restaurants be allowed to open by Feb. 1 and entertainment venues by Feb. 15, claiming that the measures taken by the government were meaningless, causing unemployment.
Slovenia, Hungary, Czechia
Hundreds of parents and students attended a demonstration in Koper, Slovenia, on Sunday demanding that schools reopen.
Protests were also held in Hungary and Czechia.
*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak
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