The hashtag “البلطجي_جبران” meaning “Gebran, the thug” is trending on Twitter in Lebanon after Gebran Bassil‘s bodyguards attacked a woman in Batroun on Sunday.
Despite being dubbed as Lebanon’s most hated politician, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader decided to show his face in public at the recently-opened beachside affair, Bahsa by Al-Mandaloun.
Also at Bahsa was a young woman named Yasmine Masri, a Lebanese among many whose homes were impacted by the Beirut blast and who lost several of her friends in the explosion.
Fueled with rage at Lebanon’s political class, Yasmine’s instant reaction was to confront Bassil, and criticize him openly, saying, “Tfeh 3alek.” It was an expression of disgust towards the politician’s audacity to walk around as if the country was all rainbows and butterflies.
“Tfeh 3alek” was enough to get her physically assaulted, beaten up, and forced to the ground by Bassil‘s bodyguards as their leader reportedly rushed away.
Yasmine managed to get back up and ran after Bassil and his entourage to catch them on video when the guards rushed back to attack her and break her cell phone.
The assault on Yasmine didn’t end there. She was also reportedly attacked by Bassil‘s supporters in the vicinity. She told local media that she had also received several phone calls threatening her.
Surrounded by FPM partisans in Batroun, she said it took her hours to get out of the town and back to safety. Luckily, she escaped without any major injuries.
According to a statement from Bassil‘s FPM media office, the people, including attendees at Bahsa, reacted “peaceful and civilized” towards Yasmine “by silencing her to stop insulting her without any assault on her.”