Yesterday Tuesday, December 11th, a group of protesters were peacefully riding in their cars around various sites in Beirut, as part of their ongoing protest, when several Parliamentary Police personnel in Ain El Tineh suddenly rushed towards their cars and attacked the protesters, including journalists, and smashed their cars and beat them up with batons.
The event sparked outrage. Social media erupted in protest against the uncalled-for violence towards peaceful protesters and civilians in the site. Less than 24 hours after the incident, the Parliamentary Police Command in Ain El Tineh issued a statement addressing the post-midnight events.
In the statement, the Parliamentary Police Command assured its commitment to the highest levels of discipline, and “to the applicable laws and regulations, and the right of citizens to peaceful protest and expression.”
The statement added that since the beginning of the last movement, the Parliamentary Police Command “has dealt with the highest levels of discipline and positivity with all the protests that took place in the vicinity of its work.” It also reasserted “its commitment to the established principles and legal standards.”
Moreover, the police command announced that “it prepared a report on what happened to be submitted to the parliament and confirms its keenness to address any problem to preserve the safety and security of the demonstrators and their elements.”
It remains unclear if disciplinary actions will be taken against the attackers who assaulted the civilians. It is highly expected by the Lebanese people and within the “commitment to the highest levels of discipline” stated by the Command of the Parliamentary Police and “to the applicable laws and regulations, and the right of citizens to peaceful protest and expression.”
The days ahead will tell. Meanwhile, a march is taking place at this moment from the Ministry of Interior towards the Parliament to condemn these attacks by members of the parliamentary police.