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Following violent night in Beirut: Minister of Interior requests investigation

Police intervene protestors with tear gas during a protest against Lebanese President Michel Aoun's plan on meetings with parliamentarians within the new government formation process in Beirut, Lebanon on 16 December 2019. [Mahmut Geldi - Anadolu Agency]
Police intervene protestors with tear gas during a protest against Lebanese President Michel Aoun's plan on meetings with parliamentarians within the new government formation process in Beirut, Lebanon on 16 December 2019. [Mahmut Geldi - Anadolu Agency]

On Sunday, the Lebanese Caretaker Interior Minister Raya Al-Hassan asked the leadership of the Internal Security Forces to launch an urgent and transparent investigation to determine those responsible for the clashes, which took place on Saturday night in the vicinity of the parliament and the streets of Beirut, between the security forces and protesters.

Al-Hassan called on the demonstrators in a statement, “to be alert to the presence of parties trying to exploit their rightful demonstrations, eliminate the protest movement and ignite violent confrontations between them and the security elements, who are working to protect them and protect their right to demonstrate, for the sake of a political agenda.”

A violent Saturday night took place in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, as security forces in the city centre dispersed the protesters by force, using tear gas.

The Lebanese Civil Defence reported, via Twitter, the transfer of 10 wounded to hospitals in Beirut, while the paramedics treated the injuries of 15 others at the site.

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The protests began in Lebanon on 17 October, as a reaction to severe economic conditions, to hold those described by the protesters as corrupt government officials responsible and to recover looted public funds.

Commenting on the aforementioned violent events, the “Li-Haqqi” (“For my Rights”) civil rights group criticised, in a statement obtained by the Anadolu Agency, the rise in the number of wounded and detainees, due to what the group described as “brutal repression” practised by the security forces and the army, and their failure to protect the demonstrators in the face of the ruling parties’ shabiha.”

“Li-Haqqi” group called on the Lebanese citizens to participate in the demonstrations, on Sunday, and exert more pressure in Beirut, where the revolution’s squares are subjected to “repression and abuse.”

In the same context, the Arab League expressed, in a statement on Sunday, its concern about the recent clashes in Lebanon, especially the clashes that took place, on Saturday evening, between demonstrators and security forces.

The Lebanese political parties, security forces and the army demanded the protesters to maintain self-restraint and avoid violence.

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