Marwan Charbel, Lebanese Minister of Interior and Municipalities in the government of PM Najib Mikati that was formed in June 2011, just confirmed what a lot of people already suspected during a recent interview with Al-Jadeed.
The ex-minister confessed to using police and security forces to discredit protests in Lebanon. They used to dress these members in civilians clothes and send them to the protests to sabotage and create riots.
This, according to Marwan Charbel, is the technique they used to scare peaceful protesters and force them to leave.
Unfortunately, this tactic of creating riots by the government lacks a total sense of responsibility. It has done way more than just scaring off the demonstrators, as Lebanon has witnessed during these events these past years and during the Thawra. It is what brought about violence, harm, and vandalism, including injuries, many of which were severe.
In his own words, the ex-minister confessed: “In my days, we used to send a police officer or two to enter between protesters and sabotage the protest… People will then get scared and leave… This is how things used to go down, I don’t know if this is the case now.”
The host was quick to respond: “Yes, this is still the case.”
And as many Lebanese people noticed during the 2019-2020 protests, the same way is most probably being used to disperse peaceful protests now.
A lot of people, while this statement made them rightfully angry, weren’t necessarily surprised. They knew that this has been going on in the country for decades, even calling it “common knowledge” by now.
However, Marwan Charbel’s words are without a doubt a clear confession that “this is a police state in which we’re living.”