Activists briefly occupy Czech embassy

A group of left-wing militants has briefly occupied the Czech embassy in the Swiss capital, Berne, in protest at alleged policy brutality at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Prague.

This content was published on September 29, 2000 - 15:47

Eleven people entered the compound of the embassy and three broke into an office.

A spokesman for Berne's city police, Beat Gross, told swissinfo the protesters agreed to leave the building after talking to the Czech ambassador.

The protest lasted about 90 minutes and passed off without any major incident. No damage was reported. Police carried out identity checks before releasing the demonstrators.

In a statement, the demonstrators criticised the Czech police for their handling of public protests in Prague during this week's IMF/World Bank meeting. They called for the immediate release from police custody of all protesters.

It is not clear if the group of militants in Berne will face any legal action over their occupation. The Czech ambassador has reportedly pledged not to press charges.

by Urs Geiser

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