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Dutch court orders government to lift night curfew immediately

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Dutch court orders government to lift night curfew immediately

A Dutch court today ordered the government to immediately lift its night traffic ban in order to fight the coronavirus, ruling that it lacks a proper legal basis.

The ruling has dealt a blow to the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis, as it has repeatedly said the measure was needed to prevent an increase in new infections due to more contagious new strains of the virus.

However, the court granted the request of an anti-Lockdown organization to withdraw this measure, judging that the government failed to make it clear why it was absolutely necessary to use emergency powers at this stage of the pandemic, as the percentage was already declining when the measure was implemented.

The traffic ban, which allows movement outside the house only for reasons of great need from 9.00 pm. until 4.30am, extended last week until at least March 3rd.

“The curfew is based on an emergency law, where there is no time for discussion with Parliament,” the court in The Hague said. “It simply came to our notice then. Extensive measures such as these must be based on appropriate laws. “

The curfew, the first in the Netherlands since World War II, sparked days of unrest by anti-Lockdown protesters when it was introduced on January 23rd. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said he would need to study the court's decision and declined to comment further.

The NPB police union said the verdict raises questions about the validity of the nearly 15,000 fines imposed on citizens who have defied a curfew in the past two weeks. “But we are complying with the court rulings,” NPB chief Jan Strougis told ANP, adding that “we can not ignore it.”

The action was brought by the anti-coronation action group Viruswaarheid, which according to the court was right in its objection that the traffic ban is an unjustified restriction of personal liberty. The curfew is part of a lockdown in which bars, restaurants and unnecessary shops have been closed for months.

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has stabilized in recent weeks, following a steady decline this year. The total number of confirmed infections since the onset of the pandemic exceeded one million last week, with nearly 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 reported.

Source: politis.com.cy

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