SAN JUAN, Puerto – Dozens of anti-vaccination protesters on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe attacked a hospital director and other medical staff after recent violent demonstrations against vaccines and COVID-19 restrictions, officials said Wednesday.
The attack took place outside the University Hospital Center on Tuesday as police tried to escort the director and other staff elsewhere for safety. The hospital said the director briefly lost consciousness and that the crowd ripped the clothes off the deputy director general and threw urine after both. An executive assistant’s car was also severely damaged, officials said.
A health workers’ union, which organized Tuesday’s demonstration and previous demonstrations that turned violent to protest vaccination demands and other measures, told local media that members are seeking to recover lost wages after being suspended for refusing to be vaccinated as required by law.
Guadeloupe prefect Alexandre Rochatte condemned the attacks, saying the government would prosecute those responsible.
“These deliberate assaults are unacceptable and intolerable,” he said in a statement.
The island of around 400,000 people has one of the lowest vaccination rates in France, and many are against France’s COVID-19 health pass, which is required to enter food establishments, cultural sites and sports arenas and for long-distance travel.
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