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Police to hold meeting after hundreds protest Covid restrictions (Updated)

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Protesters outside the presidential palace on Saturday evening (Photo: Politis)

Police plan to hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday, with Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis to decide what action to take after hundreds of people gathered outside the presidential palace Saturday evening to protest against Covid-19 restrictions.

Similar protests attracting thousands were held on the same in day in London, Berlin, and other European countries.

Yiolitis tweeted later on Sunday that  “the purpose of [the] meeting tomorrow is to clarify the practical implementation of a ban on demonstrations so that self-proclaimed defenders of constitutional freedoms can have freedom of speech but not abuse it to the detriment of other citizens, including of the Cyprus police”.

According to CNA, citing police spokesman Christos Andreou, the protest was a violation of the Covid measures. Gatherings of 50 people are allowed and while mask-wearing only applies to closed public spaces, hundreds of people attended the protest with no social distancing, calling for an end to the restrictions, the new world order and the idea of mandatory vaccinations.

Andreou the extraordinary meeting would focus on how to deal with the protesters as they had violated the decree on mass gatherings.

“If deemed necessary we will seek the opinion of the attorney-general,” he said.

Andreou said that due to the large number of people who attended Saturday’s event, it was very difficult for the police, under the circumstances, to proceed with issuing fines on the spot, or make arrests because it would have caused bigger problems.

“The police weighed all the options including reasons of public interest and security,” he added.

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Source: Cyprus News Agency