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Hundreds of officers deployed, as demos planned in Nicosia and Limassol

protesters and activists clash with riot police during a rally against corruption and covid 19 restriction measures, in nicosia
Protesters and activists clash with riot police during a rally against corruption and COVID-19 restriction measures, in Nicosia (Reuters)

Hundreds of officers will be deployed in Nicosia and Limassol on Saturday to oversee protests considered high-risk following trouble during a demonstration in the capital last week where police were accused of being heavy handed.

The main event is expected to take place in Nicosia at 4pm, with people mainly protesting state corruption but also what they perceive as the restriction of their freedoms because of the pandemic.

Police will be keeping an eye on the protest, but they will be more discrete this time, unlike last Saturday when they used water cannon, teargas, and their batons to disperse the crowd, injuring several people in the process and sparking a huge backlash.

A similar protest is scheduled two hours later in Limassol on Anexartisias Street.

That demo is also against corruption, mainly, but among the 12 groups taking part there are also those who oppose 5G networks, government measures against the pandemic, and anti-vaxxers.

Over 100 officers will be policing the event, with the force wanting to prevent a repeat of previous demonstrations where there were injuries and destruction of property.

“The police do not plan to intervene if the demonstration is peaceful and (health and safety) decrees are not violated,” Limassol police chief Lefteris Kyriacou said. “If, however, it turns into a riot, then the police will restore order.”

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