A group of Lebanese lawyers filed a lawsuit against the head of the Baabda Branch of the Lebanese Army’s Intelligence, Colonel Jean Ghantous, this Thursday, November 21st, accusing him of “violating public order, morals, and military honor.”
This lawsuit is the result of Col. Ghantous’s actions during the protests that took place near the road leading to the presidential palace in Baabda, on November 13th. He threateningly pointed his service pistol at the protesters, while insulting them with vulgar hand gestures.
Photos and videos of his actions, recorded by the protesters on site, have been circulated online since then, causing outrage among the citizens and on social media.
One of the comments on Reddit reads “I don’t think these guys realize that everyone is a reporter with a camera these days and they can’t get away with this sh.. without being exposed.”
The outrage was also felt by citizens in the judicial field. In response, five lawyers came together to bring that military person to justice by filing a lawsuit. These lawyers are Talal Adib, Gilbert Abi Abboud, Wadih Yazbek, Diala Shehadeh and Ali Jaber.
As per the lawyers, Ghantous’ actions were an attempt to intimidate the peaceful demonstrators with the threat of physical harm, and posed a “threat to civil peace” and violated “public decency, military honor, and military professionalism.”
The lawsuit was accordingly referred to the government’s commissioner at the Military Tribunal for legal action, the lawyers said.
The constructive action of these conscious lawyers, and the knowledge that provokers of violence could be brought to justice whatever their military ranks, are reassuring.
A commenter on Reddit just stated today at the news, “That’s comforting. Let’s hope the outcome is more than a slap on the hand.”
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