Lebanon: Investigate excessive use of force including use of live ammunition to disperse protests

Written by on November 7, 2019

The Lebanese army used excessive force, including live fire, to disperse protests in northern Lebanon, seriously injuring at least two people according to eyewitness testimony and analysis of verified video footage, Amnesty International said today.

In the single most violent episode since the mass protests began, the army opened fire against dozens of protesters staging a sit-in the Beddawi area of Tripoli on 26 October. At least two protesters suffered gunshot wounds. The Lebanese armed forces also violently dispersed protests in Saida and Abdeh and army and other security forces failed to intervene effectively to protect demonstrators in Beirut from violent attacks by supporters of political groups over the past week.

“The Lebanese army’s excessive use of force in Beddawi, as well as the security forces’ failure to protect peaceful protesters, are deeply worrying and must be immediately investigated in an independent, impartial and transparent manner,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

“Holding perpetrators to account must be an urgent priority. The authorities must adopt a zero-tolerance stance to any excessive use of force against peaceful protesters. Failing to do so would send a dangerous message to security forces that they have free rein to commit abuses without facing justice.”

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