News Alerts

07 Nov 2019 | 11:07 AM UTC

Lebanon: Protests reported in Beirut November 7 /update 25

Lebanon News Alert

Ongoing protests in Beirut November 7; associated rallies and heightened security expected in major urban centers

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/6/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/9/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Beirut). COUNTRY/REGION Beirut, Jiyeh, Jounieh, Minsitry of Interior, Alfa headquaters

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Event

Protesters have started gathering in Beirut for a 22nd consecutive day on the morning (local time) of Thursday, November 7, to denounce tax increases and perceived government corruption. Protests were reported outside the Ministry of Interior as well as outside the Alfa phone company's headquarters.

Protesters are expected to hold demonstrations outside key governmental institutions over the coming days, including at the ministries of Energy, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Tourism, Communication, and Labor, as well as the offices of Electricité 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.

Context

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 include a reduction to government officials' salaries, 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.

Advice

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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