Angry protesters attacked the offices of a Lebanese television channel on Tuesday night, after it broadcast a sketch apparently mocking Shia cleric Imam Musa al-Sadr.
Sadr, the founder of the Amal political party, has been missing since a visit to Libya in 1978.
Around 300 people protested outside the headquarters of privately owned al-Jadeed channel following its decision to show a comic play referring to the disappearance.
Amal is the largest Shia party in Lebanese parliament, with narrowly more seats than Hezbollah. Demonstrators, waving Amal flags, could be heard chanting “here we are Nabih” in reference to Nabih Berry, the Amal speaker of Lebanese Parliament, as they threw fireworks, rocks and eggs at the building.
Meanwhile, on Twitter a hashtag was launched calling for a boycott of al-Jadeed channel, which was the number one trending topic in Lebanon on Wednesday.
للنشر يا شباب— Ali Zreik (@ali_zreik11) February 14, 2017
ندعو لمقاطعة قناة الجديد وكل الشركات التي تنشر إعلاناتها عبر #دكانة_الجديد#حملة_مقاطعة_الجديد
Guys, share this. We are calling for a boycott of al-Jadeed channel and all the companies that advertise with them.
#حملة_مقاطعة_الجديد pic.twitter.com/8TAYJYPbNT— عصفورة الليطاني 3 (@Gnq0XgclYQUU6hy) February 14, 2017
لانها قناة مأجورة ورخيصة.. #حملة_مقاطعة_الجديد— lia akill123 (@Akill123Lia) February 14, 2017
#CampaignToBoycottAlJadeed because it’s a sold-out, worthless channel…
بتحب لبنان وقف إعلاناتك ع قناة الفتنة#حملة_مقاطعة_الجديد— زهرة الجنوب (@mimalibanaise) February 14, 2017
If you love Lebanon, stop your adverts on the channel of sedition.
لأن موسى الصدر جوهرة نادرة كانت #حملة_مقاطعة_الجديد— الهداية نور (@farahdoghman) February 14, 2017
Because Musa al-Sadr was a rare gem.
However, others tweeted in defense of freedom of speech, describing the protestors as “over sensitive”.
#حمله_مقاطعه_الجديد we stand behind aljadeed and their freedom of speech these people attacking you are a shame to humanity— nehogirl5 (@neho5girl) February 14, 2017
A number of Lebanese politicians have spoken out against the violent demonstrations, while President Michel Aoun called on Tuesday for ministers to help restore calm.
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