Police brutality caused brain injury at anti-asylum riot, woman claims

Riot police in Geldermalsen during asylum debate on Dec 16th, 2015 (Photo: @iWeethetbeter/Twitter)Riot police in Geldermalsen during asylum debate on Dec 16th, 2015 (Photo: @iWeethetbeter/Twitter)

One woman ended up in the hospital with a brain injury after being hit by the riot police during the asylum debate riots in Geldermalsen on Wednesday, her lawyer said to RTL Nieuws.

According to the lawyer, Saskia van Kessel is a "peaceful opponent" and had nothing to do with the riots. She was walking home with her husband and at about 600 meters away from the riots at the town hall, she inadvertently ended up in a charge. The riot police stepped in and Saskia ended up in the emergency room with a so-called subdural hemorrhage - when blood ends up between the brain membrane and skull.

"We are preparing a claim for damages and want to investigate what happened", the lawyer said to the broadcaster. "She was not involved in the riots and did not chant slogans. She is innocent and conducted herself civilly."

The police are investigating exactly what happened, a spokesperson said to RTL. "The matter has our full attention."

The riots in Geldermalsen were about the debate on whether or not to open an asylum center for 1,500 refugees in the municipality. Opponents tried to storm the town hall and threw fireworks, stones and cans at the police. Fourteen people were arrested.

At a press conference on Thursday, police chief Luwe Nieuwert confirmed that all 14 arrested suspects are from Geldermalsen, and not from elsewhere as a number of media reports suggest. According to the community officers who were present at the riots, 80 to 90 percent of the rioters were from Geldermalsen.