Beirut’s Conflicts Resulted In Serious Injuries Among Protesters And Police

For the past couple of days, Riyad el-Solh in downtown Beirut has been living heated conflicts between the riot police and the civilians.

Many have described the scene as a war zone, which isn’t entirely false. The scenes are horrible and the aftermath is heartbreaking.

As planned for Anger Week, people from all over Lebanon met at the square on Saturday 18 January to continue their protest at a larger scale at that usual place.

A group of these protesters insisted on crossing over the barrier around the Parliament. That resulted in the parliamentary police attacking the protesters, and the protesters attacking back. 

Protesters used everything within their reach, rocks, tree branches, fireworks, etc. while the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Many fell injured on both sides, and some of these injuries were not insignificant.

One demonstrator called Jean Georges was shot in the mouth by a rubber bullet.

Karen Hilal was directly hit with a tear gas tank on her head, while another protester had his finger surgically amputated because of his injury. 

Sanaa Al-Sheikh was injured in her hands as a result of being beaten by riot police after she tried to climb the barrier. Photographer Marwan Assaf is in intensive care because of the density of tear gas. 

A young protester, aged 18, was hit by a tear gas tank right on his eyes, resulting in him losing his right eye. 

A video of his father in distress is circulating online. Crying and heartbroken, he blamed the government, specifically President Michel Aoun, for this tragedy.

His teenaged son lost his eye while demanding his rights, so his father will continue doing that for him, as he said in the video.

Among the security forces and riot cops, 142 police members were affected by the violence of January 18, including 7 officers, and 3 suffering from severe injuries like fractures of the skull.

The count of injuries among protesters according to the latest report of the Lebanese Red Cross reached 220. Over 140 were treated at the scene, and 80 were transported to nearby hospitals for urgent care.

The city of Beirut was also a victim of that tragic event. Riyad el-Solh was ruined by these aggressive acts. Material assets were burned, jerked out, broken, or distorted.

Many photographers and media workers also suffered material damages to their equipment, some got destroyed and some got lost.

During the tragic event, many protesters took shelter in the mosque of Al-Amin, and dozens were arrested.

Witnesses on the scene shared that some elements of the security forces burned down the tents of the revolutionaries in El-Azaariyeh.

A video that has been circulating shows those arrested getting beaten up as the security forces disembarked them from the military truck and forced them into the barrack of Thakanet el Helou.

As noticeable in the video, these civilians were handcuffed and defenseless, and the use of force was unjustified.

The brutality inflicted on the civilians got their fellow protesters even more hyped and angry. They called on each other to gather again the next day in Riyad el-Solh.

This is obviously not over. They do not intend to back off or give up on their demands.

On the other hand, many people have maintained their peaceful protests and refused to take part in the violence. They still got affected, nonetheless.