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Anti-lockdown rallies stopped at early stage

Police were deployed to prevent demonstration against a ban on public gatherings over the government's coronavirus lockdown measures. Keystone/Alexandra Wey

Police have broken up renewed protests in several Swiss cities against coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

This content was published on May 16, 2020 - 18:15 with Keystone-SDA/ug

Several hundred participants of all ages took part in the demonstrations in Zurich, Bern, Basel and Winterthur on Saturday. Observers have described the crowds as a mix of civil rights campaigners, anti-state protestors and followers of esoteric views.

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Several people were arrested or taken away for questioning by police.

The protestors called for an end to the ban on public gatherings introduced by government in mid-March as part of measures to prevent the spread of infectious Covd-19 virus.

Police in Bern cordoned off parliament square – a popular site for public rallies. It also intervened to block a protest on the outskirts of the city.

Anti-lockdown demonstrations have increased notably in the main German-speaking part of the country since the beginning of May amid criticism of inconsistent police intervention.

The demonstrations come amid calls by opinion leaders for the government to re-instate full public rights in Switzerland, but respecting the health precautions, notably hygiene and the stay 2-metre distance rules.

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