March 22, 2018 / 11:56 AM / 7 months ago

Man jumps to floor of Dutch parliament in apparent suicide attempt

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A 65-year-old man jumped several meters from a public gallery onto the floor of the Dutch parliament on Thursday with something tied around his neck, police said.

The man survived the apparent suicide attempt and was receiving medical treatment, police said in a statement.

Eyewitnesses said the man had been pacing about in an agitated state before tying something to a railing and jumping during a debate, the Telegraaf newspaper reported.

The paper identified him as an activist who had camped outside parliament for several weeks in a demonstration for the legalization of hashish and marijuana.

“I had to do this to wake up the politicians,” the Telegraaf quoted the man as having written in a post on Facebook.

Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, though it is widely available and police do not prosecute people for possession or sale of small amounts.

Shocked lawmakers could be seen in a public video feed rushing to assist the man, who hit the ground with a loud thump.

Photos on social media showed the man receiving first aid on a lawmaker’s desk and later being carried out of parliament on a stretcher.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gareth Jones and Larry King

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