LONETREK – Civil unrest was reported early this morning on Malkalen V after an anti-Provist rally organized by Ishukone-loyal capsuleers was dispersed with use of lethal force by the Caldari Provincial Directorate.
At approximately 04:15 EVE standard time this morning, CPD forces launched an air and ground assault on the Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive-hosted rally, leaving 27 citizens injured, nine critically, and four dead. Witnesses have since come forward to give accounts of Provist forces rappelling from Sparrow-class drop ships bearing the insignia of the CPD, before firing tear gas, baton rounds and webification grenades into the assembled crowd.
According to widespread reports, an exchange of fire occurred between Provist forces and security representatives from the Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive before the area was flooded with riot control gas, resulting in over 200 arrests. Among those taken into custody was the lead speaker at the rally, State citizen and Revenent Defence Corporation employee Korbin “Korsavius” Lavius, who was apparently released without charge soon after.
A spokesman for Ishukone Watch, the security arm of the Ishukone Corporation, made a press release this morning claiming that “excessive and completely unnecessary use of force by the Caldari Provincial Directorate has resulted in the death or severe injury of a number of Caldari citizens who were simply exercising their civil right to freedom of speech”.
The release went on to defend the actions of the Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive’s security force, stating that “forces belonging to the demonstrating corporation acted with due diligence and exemplary professionalism in attempting to protect the assembled crowd and assist with medical evacuation of those injured once the situation was brought under control”.
The office of press for the Caldari Provincial Directorate was unavailable for comment when contacted regarding this morning’s operation, despite reports that similar anti-Provist demonstrations have begun to occur across the State in recent weeks.