News Alerts

06 Nov 2019 | 10:49 AM UTC

Lebanon: Nationwide protests reported November 6 /update 24

Lebanon News Alert

Protests set to continue near governmental buildings across the country November 6; business and transportation disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/6/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/9/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Beirut). COUNTRY/REGION Beirut, Jiyeh, Jounieh, Bekaa Valley

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Protesters have started gathering in Beirut and other urban centers across the country as of the morning (local time) of Wednesday, November 6, to denounce tax increases and perceived government corruption. In Beirut, participants, including hundreds of lawyers, are holding a protest outside the Ministry of Justice to demand independence of the judiciary. Security forces and riot police have been deployed in great numbers in the vicinity of the building.

In the Beqaa valley, students are reportedly staging sit-ins outside several schools in the area, including in Lala, Jeb Jennine, Manara, and Marj.

Protesters are expected to hold demonstrations outside key governmental institutions throughout the day, including at the ministries of Energy, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Tourism, Communication, and Labor, as well as the offices of Electricite Du Liban, the main Lebanese electricity provider, and in Zaitunay Bay, a marine development located in Beirut waterfront. Protests are also likely outside the Jounieh Serail and the Jiyeh power plant. 

Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.


On October 16-17, the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products as part of its 2020 federal budget, as well as a daily 20 percent for messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The announcement sparked mass protests across the country on October 17, forcing the government to revoke the tax proposal. Since then, protests have evolved calling for the resignation of the government and have continued despite an emergency reform package announced by Prime Minister Saad Hariri on October 21. The packages call for a reduction in the salaries of government officials, a plan to privatize the telecommunications sector, and a proposed overhaul of the electricity sector. Dozens of activists have been killed, and several hundred protesters and security forces wounded in the protests. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation.


Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.


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