Following the cancellation of the brevet exams due to the dire conditions in the country, including the very poor supply of electricity, baccalaureate students have been demanding that the education minister cancels as well their official exams.
After their large demonstration on Wednesday, they went protesting on Thursday at the Ministry of Education and in front of the residence of caretaker Education Minister Tarek Majzoub, to make their demands heard.
The youth demonstration began peacefully, calling on the minister to cancel the exams. They cited the deteriorating conditions in the country preventing them from studying or being prepared for the tests.
Madi Karimeh, the famous DJ from Tripoli’s Revolution, was there supporting the students. “We came from the north and we’re with you until the end,” he told them, adding more words of encouragement to the crowd.
As seen in the video below, the crowd was chanting and the sound of musical instruments brought along could be heard. The demonstration resembled that of the early months of the Thawra.
However, it wasn’t long until scuffles broke out between students and Internal Security Forces, some in civilian clothes, who used brutal forced to disperse the youth and detain several.
The students’ calls seem to fall on deaf ears and their cries are being silenced. In a video posted by Karimeh, a student is seen on the ground surrounded by a dozen of ISF and being handcuffed.
In another video, activists identified two students who were taken by the security forces as Nadim Hariri and Ahmad Termos.
“The arrest of students and minors in front of the Ministry of Education is rejected and condemned,” tweeted Joe Maalouf, Human Rights & Media Freedom advocate, calling on the relevant judicial authorities to release them immediately.
Directing his tweet to the education minister and the authorities, he stressed that they are supposed to support the students and support their stay in Lebanon by listening to their demands, “instead of suppressing them, arresting them, and depriving them of their freedom!”
This is the second time this week that activists and protesters were met with brutal force and violence for demonstrating and making demands to a “caretaker” government that remains deaf to the people’s pleas.
The youth are now calling for parents to join them in a larger demonstration to further pressure the ministry to heed their demands.