News Alerts

01 Sep 2020 | 11:38 PM UTC

Lebanon: Security forces fire tear gas at protesters outside parliament in Beirut September 1 /update 1

Lebanon News Alert

Security forces fire tear gas at protesters outside parliament in Beirut on September 1; further unrest possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/4/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Beirut). COUNTRY/REGION Beirut

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Event

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered in the vicinity of the parliament building in Beirut on Tuesday, September 1. Demonstrators attempted to climb over the walls erected around the parliament complex and thew stones at police, prompting them to fire tear gas to disperse crowds. Protesters also set up barricades and set them alight near Nejmeh Square, blocking access to parliament. At least 20 people were injured during the clashes.

Separately, at least 200 people gathered for a peaceful protest in Martyrs' Square on Tuesday to denounce the government in the wake of the Beirut blast.

Furthermore, scuffles between demonstrators and security forces were reported outside of the French Embassy, coinciding with a visit to the country by French President Emmanuel Macron.

A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in the vicinity of any protest site, along with disruptions to overland travel.

Context

An explosion that occurred in the Port of Beirut on August 4 killed at least 157 people, injured 5000 others, and caused billions of Lebanese Pounds in damages. The blast is believed to have been caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been unsafely stored in the area. A state of emergency was initially declared on August 5, and 20 officials responsible for the operation of the port have so far been placed under arrest.

Allegations of mismanagement regarding the substance's storage come during sustained unrest since October 2019 over corruption and economic hardship within the country whereby protesters have called for reforms to the governance of Lebanon. Mustapha Adib was named as the new prime minister on August 31 with a view to forming a new government.

Advice

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

 

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