Friday 01 July 2022

Dutch police fire warning shots during riots over refugee centre

refugee riots geldermalsenRiot police fired warning shots in Geldermalsen on Wednesday night after protests about plans to build a refugee centre in the Gelderland town erupted into violence.

Police sealed off the town hall where the debate on the plans was taking place with fencing, but protesters, said to number about 100, pelted the building with bottles, bricks and fireworks. Several windows were smashed.

The meeting was abandoned on the advice of the police. Some 15 minibuses carrying riot police had been drafted in to deal with the trouble.

There were at least 14 arrests and two police officers were slightly injured in the clashes, the Telegraaf reported. At one point explosives experts were brought in to deal with a large firework which had not exploded.

Police had restored calm at around 22.30. Locals told reporters the troublemakers were not from Geldermalsen itself.


Mayor Miranda de Vries said on Twitter: ‘And people say they are frightened of asylum seekers. I am very very sad about this.’

The town hall meeting had been called to discuss plans to build a refugee centre for 1,500 people. Geldermalsen has a population of some 14,000.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff said in a reaction that ‘this is not how we deal with each other in the Netherlands.’

‘This is unheard of,’ he said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.