The Dutch Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, told press on Tuesday that arrested rioters of the government-imposed curfew will face prompt and harsh prosecution.
On Monday night, 184 rioters were arrested and many more fined, with the fine for breaching curfew being 95 euros. Monday was the third day of protests in the Netherlands in response to the curfew, where rocks and fireworks were thrown at police, supermarkets looted, and bicycles set on fire. Prime Minister Mark Rutte sent out a tweet calling for the violence to stop, saying, “The riots have nothing to do with protesting or fighting for freedom.”
The curfew came into effect on Saturday, January 23, requiring individuals stay inside between 9 PM to 4:30 AM. It sparked violence on Sunday in Urk, where a COVID-19 testing centre was torched. Protests and looting continued to occur, with social media fuelling the riots in several places such as Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam.
The curfew is the first in the country since World War II.