Lebanon's State Prosecutor Orders Release of 34 Protesters

Published January 19th, 2020 - 11:38 GMT
Anti-government protesters attempt to break through the security barrier in the central downtown district of the Lebanese capital Beirut near the parliament headquarters during clashes with security forces on January 18, 2020. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Anti-government protesters attempt to break through the security barrier in the central downtown district of the Lebanese capital Beirut near the parliament headquarters during clashes with security forces on January 18, 2020. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Highlights
Police also shot rubber bullets at protesters, causing multiple injuries.

State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat Sunday ordered the release of 34 people detained the previous night during some of the most violent protests Lebanon has witnessed since the beginning of its nationwide antigovernment uprising, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The majority of the 34 detainees were held at the Helou police barracks, the NNA said.

Meanwhile, protesters called for people to return to Nihmeh Square Sunday, under the slogan “No turning back.”

Human Rights watch referred to the clashes a “brutal crackdown on protesters” in which the security foces used “excessive force.”

The Lebanese Red Cross issued a statement Sunday confirming it had treated 140 injured people at the scene and transported 169 to nearby hospitals during the previous night’s clashes.


Caretaker Interior Minister Raya El-Hassan tweeted Saturday night that she had pledged to protect peaceful demonstrations, but for protests to “turn into a blatant attack on security forces, and public and private property is condemned and unacceptable."

At least 220 people were injured in Saturday’s clashes between security forces and protesters, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Riot police fired hundreds of rounds of tear gas at crowds, who spread from Saifi to the Ring Bridge, launching fireworks and throwing rocks. Protesters threw tear gas back at police, some even using tennis rackets to volley the canisters.

Police also shot rubber bullets at protesters, causing multiple injuries.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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