Things may feel like they’re calming somewhat after consecutive weeks of violent clashes between authorities and demonstrators — but police say they’re still feeling the blowback from hostile residents and protesters.
At a Friday press conference, several senior police officials spoke on the condition of anonymity, describing how they and their families had been targeted in violent attacks and harassment. One officer and his family — including two children, aged 7 and 3 — had to move out of their home after protesters broke their windows.
Another officer had his and his family’s personal data and phone numbers leaked online, an attack known as doxxing. Harassers called him more than 100 times a day, sometimes to make death threats to him and his wife.
There is online radicalization now, the whole movement, and that is worrying. In any country, this sounds like extremism. Not like a protest. This is not protest. This is not peaceful,” said one of the senior police officials.
Sexual harassment: Some of the harassment online has descended into misogynistic threats of violation and violence, said a police official. He said some on social media had made a mock beauty contest, asking people which police officer’s wife they wanted to sleep with most.
16 arrested: The police said they have arrested 16 people so far, with charges of disclosing personal data without consent and inciting various forms of violence.