During Beirut’s demonstrations last week, thugs were sent to destroy the stores and public/private properties in downtown.
The high dollar exchange rate that edged 7,000LL at one point propelled the citizens to the streets in protest.
However, they were taken by surprise when some men attacked the stores, breaking the glass fronts, and setting them on fire, destroying several public and private properties.
The people of the revolution didn’t let these rioters fulfill their goal, which was to discredit the revolution. They immediately launched the Twitter hashtag This Is Not Our Revolution, repudiating the thugs and their vile actions.
The peaceful protesters, ever so determined to show the real side of their revolution, took to the streets to fix the damages done by these thugs.
Some store owners also expressed that they are glad to sacrifice anything for their country.
However, many were wondering what the authorities intend to do regarding the rioters, especially that this occurred at a time when peaceful activists were being tracked down and arrested for expressing their opinions online.
Meanwhile, the thugs were still running free and defying the authorities openly as if above the law.
However, this time, the law-enforcement took a rightful action. On June 21st, the P.R. Division of the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces (ISF) issued a public statement that brought some comfort to the people.
“In pursuit of people who rioted, vandalized, and destroyed commercial stores in central Beirut on 11 and 12/6/2020, and the negative effects this has left, these acts were denounced by the Lebanese people especially those involved in peaceful protests,” the official statement said.
Accordingly, the ISF’s Information Division managed to identify several of these rioters based on photos and videos published and shared on social media and by various media outlets.
These public materials “clearly show that these people sabotaged public and private properties.”
Therefore, based “on the authority of the competent judiciary” the ISF’s Information Division proceeded to track down and arrest 11 persons who were involved in these destructive actions. They are currently being investigated.
شعبة المعلومات توقف 11 شخصاً مشتبه بقيامهم بأعمال شغب وتخريب وتحطيم محالّ تجارية في وسط بيروت#قوى_الامن https://t.co/IfjrL2GxUF pic.twitter.com/PVEPzOorew— قوى الامن الداخلي (@LebISF) June 21, 2020
The ISF’s General Directorate went on to reaffirm its dedication to protecting the freedom of peaceful expression.
It made a point to stress that “freedom of expression does not mean at all the freedom to commit acts of vandalism and attacks on public and private property,” and assure that there will be “no tolerance with the aggressors against these properties.”