Thirty-nine people were hospitalized and 65 others treated on site during Thursday night’s anti-government protest in downtown Beirut, medics said Friday.
Lebanese Red Cross chief George Kettaneh told the National News Agency that medics transferred “39 non-serious cases” to various hospitals in Beirut in addition to the 65 who were treated at the site of protest near Martyrs’ Square.
He did not specify what types of injuries the protesters suffered but most were likely treated for tear gas inhalation after security forces fired dozens of canisters over the span of the five-hour-long clashes.
LBCI said Friday that 47 protesters had been arrested, with only two freed shortly after.
Activists from the You Stink and We Want Accountability groups which were among the organizers of the protest had said that more than 30 people had been arrested before police charged the demonstration after midnight, when dozens more were rounded up.
The Internal Security Forces wrote on its Twitter that “detainees are being treated based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The protest, called on to pressure the government to solve the country's nearly three-month-long trash crisis, started out peaceful but descended into violence after demonstrators crossed a police barrier.
Riot police responded by beating them with clubs and firing water cannon. Some protesters began throwing rocks, prompting the police to fire tear gas. The clashes went on for more than five hours until police charged the rally and arrested the remaining protesters.
The protesters have called for a sit-in at 10a.m. outside the Military Court to press for the release of the detainees.
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