Lebanese handling of protests is clear rights violation
Geneva - The use of excessive force by the Lebanese security services against peaceful demonstrations condemning the deteriorating economic situation in the country constitutes a violation of human rights and a flagrant violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 13 of the Lebanese Constitution, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement on October 1, 2019.
The security forces had dealt with
some Lebanese demonstrators in Beirut in an "inhuman and
brutal manner", as well as carrying out indiscriminate
arrests in the wake of those demonstrations.
A video acquired by the Euro-Med shows five members of the Lebanese security forces beating a demonstrator near the headquarters of the Lebanese government after knocking him down, kicking him with their feet and batons.
On the other hand, the
General Directorate of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces
issued a statement explaining the incident. The statement
said that it would have been better for those who filmed the
video to document the full incident and not only part of it
and respect the truth, professionalism and human
The Euro-Med documented testimonies of three protesters who survived the security forces' assault. They reported that the security forces hunted and assaulted a number of their colleagues using batons, and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown location.
these witnesses, the security forces used excessive force to
disperse demonstrators who gathered in hundreds in front of
the government’s headquarters, Grand Serail, beating a
number of them after demonstrators tried to remove the
barbed wire separating them from the headquarters.
On Sunday, September 29, hundreds of Lebanese protesters sealed off a number of streets in Beirut with burning tires and barriers. Other demonstrations took place in several cities to protest against the deteriorating economic and living conditions in the country.
The protesters called for
combating corruption, adopting reforms, forming a competent
government and abolishing the quota system in the country,
at a time the Lebanese economy is witnessing a sharp
decline, which prompted the parliament to adopt a deficit
budget in an attempt to reduce the public deficit.
"The Lebanese authorities should have respected the rights of the demonstrators and listened to their demands instead of using excessive force that violates human rights standards," said Mohamed Imad, Euro-Med's legal researcher.
"It is regrettable to see four security personnel beating one person with their feet and batons relentlessly, only because he was taking part in a demonstration demanding stopping corruption and adopting reforms in the country," he added.
lmad pointed out that the attack on protesters is a clear violation of the Lebanese Constitution and Lebanon's international obligations, especially Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Lebanon ratified in 1972.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor stressed that the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms provide that law enforcement officials may use force only if other means are ineffective or won't achieve the desired result.
The Euro-Med called
on the Lebanese authorities to open an immediate and
impartial investigation to ensure accountability for anyone
who used excessive use of force, including the assault on
some demonstrators. The Lebanese Parliament should hold the
Minister of Interior accountable for the recent attacks
against demonstrators and should end the use of force
against protesters in light of the deterioration of economic
and living conditions in the country, the organization