What started as a peaceful protest against the brutal policies of banks in Lebanon, turned into a 3 hours-long battle between protestors and riot cops.
Due to throwing fireworks and water bottles at ISF and riot cops, as well as breaking the glass-fronts of banks in Hamra street, 60 people were arrested during the clash, some of which were “arrested falsely” as depicted by protesters.
A day after the incident, the 60 detainees have yet to be released and their families have yet to hear any update on their wellbeing.
These arrests sparked more anger among protesters who believe that the people who provoked the security forces were infiltrators with the goal of disrupting the peace.
Families of the detainees have been protesting in front of Emile El-Helou police station (Sakanet El-Helou) in Mar Elias since morning and joined by hundreds of protestors at night, demanding the release of the detainees.
Protesters closed roads using burning tires and garbage in Corniche Al Mazraa that lead to El-Helou police station. They have also started throwing fireworks at ISF, which has resulted in more arrests and clashes between both parties.
Riot cops threw tear gas at the protestors in an attempt to disperse the crowd and are now trying to evacuate the area from protesters and rioters.
A Reuters’ photographer has been injured due to the ongoing physical clashes between riot cops and protestors.
A group of lawyers has also arrived at the scene of the demonstration in front of El-Helou station police.
They want to follow up with the cases of the 60 people arrested, in an attempt to investigate as well as to give the families and the law the justice needed.
Protesters have also roamed the streets of Mar Elias and vandalized ATMs and glass-fronts of banks in a rebellious act against all that has been going on.
The detainees are yet to be released as of this hour, with more people arrested as the crowd gets bigger and the violent acts against security forces -as well as the violent acts against protesters- gets stronger.