Arbitrary Arrests Set Off Numerous Protests In Lebanon And the Diaspora

For a couple of weeks now, several Lebanese revolutionaries, including some public figures among them, have been summoned, sued, and arrested, either for their protesting or for their online posts.

Malak Alaywe Herz, the icon of the Lebanese revolution, was summoned to face military court for defending herself against a soldier who opened fire amid a protest. Other prominent Lebanese activists are being sued by FPM, including Dima Sadek and Gino Raidy.

Dima is a Lebanese reporter known for her blunt honest tweets, which are the reason behind the lawsuit made against her, much like the other activists.

Dima, however, was contacted again on Tuesday 25 February by the Criminal Investigation Office for allegedly “inciting hatred and sectarian strife between the Lebanese people.”

Consequently, many movements set off all over Lebanon to protest against these arbitrary arrests.

In Tripoli, for example, protesters blocked the Palma highway using trucks, and the mothers of the arrested took to the streets to demand freedom for their children. 

The same scenario happened in El-Abdeh, Akkar. A number of protesters in other regions took to the streets as well, specifically the Ring bridge in Beirut and in front of Beirut’s municipality, as well as in the Bekaa. 

Meghterbin Mejtemiin organized a protest on Monday 24 February in Paris, to show their full support to Gino Raidy, Malak Alawye Herz, Dima Sadek, and Charbel Khoury. 

The diaspora expressed their confusion as to why former minister Marwan Kheireddin’s bodyguards, who have confessed to physically attacking the journalist Mohammad Zbib, are still running free.

According to what the protesters in Paris expressed through microphones, the authorities are ignoring thugs and focusing on peaceful revolutionaries, who the most they’ve done are self-defense acts and/or expressing their political opinions online.

That form of oppression, persecution, and intimidation by lawsuits has become a mounting trend recently against the revolutionaries in Lebanon.

Opinions are being judged unlawful and criminal, while illegal acts, like physical assaults against citizens and corruption, aren’t.

As of yet, and since the onset of the revolution, those who have physically assaulted protesters and destroyed their tents and cars haven’t been arrested nor charged or penalized as if immune from the law for belonging to political parties.

Instead, protesters expressing their opinions and demanding justice against corruption are being persecuted by political officials using the law as a weapon.

The Lebanese people feel in their rights to voice out their pain in their fight against corruption and demand justice.

With that trend of lawsuits against them escalating, we do get to wonder how many from the revolution’s masses officials intend to shut up with lawsuits and imprisonment? 

Would unjustly penalizing several is meant to scare off the whole revolution? Because, as per the recorded history of nations, that has never worked.

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