Suriname: More arrests expected after antigovernment riots
PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) — Suriname’s government warned of more arrests and put police on high alert Saturday a day after a protest against the policies of President Chandrikapersad Santokhi spun out of control and hundreds of demonstrators stormed parliament.
Demonstrators marched Friday to the National Assembly building to protest against price hikes and the reduction of electricity and fuel subsidies as a result of an IMF program. They overwhelmed police who fired tear gas. Riots soon broke out and the Assembly building damaged.
On Saturday, police set up roadblocks, extra surveillance and checkpoints on bridges.
Justice Minister Kenneth Amoksi took stock during a press conference, saying 119 people had been arrested and 20 injured during the disturbances. More arrests are expected to follow.
“We have the images. It is only a matter of time before you are apprehended,” said Amoksi
Amoksi was joined in the press conference by chief of police Ruben Kensen, army commander Werner Kioe A Sen and security adviser Humprey Tjin Liep Shie.
Kensen said the situation was under control but there will be increased security measures in the coming period.
Protest leader Stephano Biervliet was invited by Amoksi to report to the police.
Biervliet was live on Facebook at the same time as the press conference. He said he had been threatened and held hostage for a few moments by armed unknown people.
“What happened was not my intention. It was a peaceful protest action that was taken over by malicious parties in an organized context,” said Biervlied, adding that he would report to the police.