Clashes in Argentina as thousands rally for VP

TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (MNA) – Police in Argentina have clashed with supporters of Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the country’s capital, Buenos Aires.

The clashes on Saturday took place as thousands took to the streets in her defense two days after prosecutors sought a 12-year prison sentence against her as well as a ban on public office for alleged corruption during her government.

Prosecutors say Fernandez de Kirchner led an illicit scheme that siphoned state funds through the awarding of public works contracts to a family friend between 2007 and 2015 while she was president of the country, Al Jazeera reported.

Fernandez de Kirchner denies the charges and claims she is a victim of judicial and political persecution.

The largest demonstration on Saturday took place outside the vice president’s home in the elegant Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta, where in the early morning hours police set up fences in an effort to prevent a large gathering.

In the afternoon, the demonstrators, who claim the fences were erected by Buenos Aires’ opposition mayor as a provocation, tore down the barriers and clashed with police.

Hydrant trucks tried to disperse the crowds with water.

According to local media, seven police officers were injured and two protesters were arrested. Fernandez de Kircher later requested her supporters to halt the protests.

“In a democracy, the right to freedom of expression is fundamental,” she told her supporters from a makeshift stage in front of her house.

“I want to say thank you and ask you to go get some rest. It’s been a long day.”

ZZ/PR

News Code 190730

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