Sunday, 09 August, 2020


160 wounded as Lebanon protesters clash with police

Anti-government demonstrators throw stones toward riot police at a road leading to the parliament building in Beirut Lebanon Saturday Jan. 18 2020 Lebanese journos protest against police using excessive force
Bennie Garza | 19 January, 2020, 03:27

President Michel Aoun called on security forces to protect peaceful protesters and work on restoring clam in downtown Beirut and to protect public and private propery.

Adding to the crisis, Lebanon has been without a government since Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned October 29, meeting a key demand of the protesters.

The clashes took place with the backdrop of a rapidly worsening financial crisis and an ongoing impasse over the formation of a new government after the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in late October.

At some point, a tent camp, erected by the protesters in one of Beirut's central districts months ago, caught on fire. The protesters, which had accused Hariri of corruption, demand that all posts in the new government are assumed exclusively by independent technocrats.

Clashes between Lebanese anti-government protesters and law enforcement resumed near the parliament building in the capital Beirut on Saturday, with police resorting to tear gas and water cannons, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

The Lebanese Red Cross said more than 100 people had been treated for injuries, with at least 65 others taken to hospital on both sides.

The protesters had called for a demonstration Saturday afternoon with the theme "we will not pay the price" in reference to debt that stands at about $87 billion ($114 billion Cdn), or more than 150 per cent of GDP.

No progress seemed to have been made on a final lineup, which protesters demand be made up exclusively of independent experts and exclude traditional political parties.

The protests were also held in northern and southern cities.

Some 352 people were arrested in Beirut during what has been dubbed a "week of rage" at the country's political class and banks, which protesters blame for Lebanon's worst financial crisis in decades.

Some people on Twitter suggested security forces might have set the tents on fire to stop a crowd from marching on parliament.

"Popular anger is the solution", she said.

Forming a cabinet is an often convoluted process in Lebanon, where a complex system seeks to maintain balance between the country's many political parties and religious confessions. The Lebanese pound has lost almost half its value, while dollar shortages have driven up prices and confidence in the banking system has collapsed.

Lebanon's capital Beirut has been plunged into chaos amid massive protests.

These were the details of the news Lebanon releases protesters detained after clashes for this day.

The World Bank has warned that the poverty rate in Lebanon could rise from a third to half of the population if the political crisis is not solved soon.

Human rights groups denounced the arrests and what they described as unacceptable violence against largely peaceful protesters. The country has not yet formed a new government.

Political factions that agreed on 19 December to appoint former education minister and professor Hassan Diab as the new premier are now disagreeing over proposed ministers.

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