Police arrest 10 at Pegida anti-Islam launch in Utrecht

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PEGIDA Nederland demonstration in Utrecht, October 11th, 2015 (Picture: Facebook/PEGIDA Nederland). (PEGIDA Nederland demonstration in Utrecht, October 11th, 2015 (Picture: Facebook/PEGIDA Nederland))

A total of ten people were arrested in Utrecht on Sunday after a demonstration organized by anti-Islam movement Pegida Nederland got out of hand. All but one of these suspects have since been released. 

The demonstration started out peacefully, but things got out of hand after a confrontation with counter-protesters, according to the Public Prosecutor.  This resulted in the police having to close down the Vredenburg for some time in order to restore order. Ten people were arrested during the disturbances.

After police questioning, the Public Prosecutor decided to release nine of the ten suspects. Two of the cases were dismissed due to insufficient evidence. Six people were released with a summons to appear before the magistrate in December. These six suspects are facing charges of, among others, insults, disturbing the demonstration, resisting arrest, failure to follow police orders, destruction of a bicycle and violence against a horse. The Public Prosecutor also ordered further investigations in the cases against the two remaining suspects, one of whom is still in custody.

The police are also investigating possible crimes by other people based on available camera footage. Specialists of the Public Prosecutor are also looking into the speech made by one of the speakers during the Pediga demonstration to determine whether or not it contained criminal statements.

The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident - Pediga - is a German anti-Islam political group formed in October last year. The group regularly calls for stricter immigration rules, for Muslims in particular.

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