Eyewitness video footage published by the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday shows police officers dragging a naked female protester by her hair before handcuffing and arresting the woman for her participation in an anti-coronavirus vaccine mandate rally in front of the New Zealand parliament building in Wellington.
“Two police officers have been filmed dragging a naked female protester by her hair at Parliament grounds today,” the New Zealand Herald reported on February 9.
“Footage sent to the Herald shows the officers dragging the naked woman from the protest crowd,” the newspaper revealed.
“The woman is pinned to the ground and handcuffed,” the Herald detailed, adding, “She is then partially covered in a white sheet and escorted away.”
The woman was one of 120 people arrested on the grounds of the New Zealand parliament building in Wellington on February 9 for protesting Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandates and restrictions.
New Zealand police officers have “attempted to forcefully remove hundreds of protesters camped outside parliament” since February 7 as part of the demonstration, Reuters reported on February 10.
“[S]everal thousand protesters this week blocked streets near the parliament in capital Wellington with trucks, cars and motorcycles,” according to the news agency.
New Zealand Speaker Trevor Mallard authorized police to close off the grounds immediately surrounding the national parliament building on February 10, prompting a crackdown by security forces on demonstrators.
“Police used pepper spray on some protesters,” according to Reuters.
Wellington Police District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell told reporters on February 9 the 120 people arrested that day would face charges of “trespass or obstruction” and would be bailed to appear in court.
Asked by New Zealand media if Wellington police had used excessive force against demonstrators on Wednesday, Parnell replied, “I think if you’ve watched any of the footage today, which I have intently, and our people have acted proportionately, fairly and very professionally.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged the Wellington protesters to “move on” while speaking to reporters during a visit to a Chinese coronavirus vaccine clinic in Aukland on February 10.
“All of us want to actually move on,” she claimed.
“We are working very hard to put ourselves in the best possible position to do that,” Ardern added.
The Wellington protest is reportedly inspired by an ongoing anti-coronavirus vaccine mandate and restriction protest in Canada by trucker convoys. The movement is known as the “Freedom Convoy” and has sparked other similar protests across the U.S., Europe, and Australia.