This revolution has resulted in uneasiness amongst politicians as well as their followers. More than a month of protesting, Lebanese people wake up every day to a new story. But, when kids get taken from their homes for allegedly tearing down a street poster of the Lebanese president, now that becomes a total outrage.
Throughout this revolution, there have been incidents that yielded three martyrs. We have seen attacks on protesters revolution squares resulting in men and women being beaten up. Accompanying these fights, of course, was the destruction of the sites.
There have been arrests of men and women, the burning of the Revolution Fist in Martyr's square, there have been hundreds of injuries. Let's not forget about the latest, which includes the cutting of broadcasting of a pro-revolution TV channel.
All is a fair price to pay for our rights, for our freedom from this corrupt government. Democracy has been redefined by the leaders of Lebanon. Democracy is defined as a way of governing that depends on the will of the people.
And now, the appalling action of arresting kids. At 5:00 PM, on Saturday, Nov 23rd, the municipality of Hammana arrested five children. TV and news stations claim that these children were in the process of tearing down a supposed political picture from a street pole. These children are all under 18.
These kids were detained in jail at the station for 3 hours then delivered to the army intelligence after which they were returned to the Hammana police station.
مشهد الاهالي ناطرين ولادن وخايفين علين. بس هيك ! pic.twitter.com/zWlzlzSBSO— joemaalouf جو معلوف (@joemaalouftv) November 23, 2019
According to many, the judge decided to keep them overnight in order for him to pass his judgment later on, which prompted an urgent call on social media for a sit-in in front of the police station.
As the picture of 3 of the kids has been circling the internet, the outrage took social media by storm, and many expressing their fury at the official authorities taking their frustration on kids for a picture instead of arresting the corrupt and the criminals.
اطفال عم بيشيلوا يافطة تم القاء القبض عليهم من الاجهزة... سياسيين عم يسرقوا بلد بعدن كلن برات الحبوسة... عسكر على مين. اليافطة صارت تفوت ناس واطفال عالحبس والاعتقال... للافراج الفوري عن المعتقلين في حمانا— Salman Andary (@salmanonline) November 23, 2019
The 5 kids, which ages range between 12 and 18 years young, one of the kids is believed to be sick.
According to Al-Jadeed TV, and as being circulated online, one of the mothers shared in anguish, "The Army Intelligence arrested my son who's 10 years old in El-Metn because he and some minors tore down the picture of the president at the Free Patriotic Movement Center."
إحدى المواطنات لـ "الجديد": مخابرات الجيش أوقفت ابني وعمره 10 سنوات في المتن لأنه وعدد من القصّر مزّقوا صورة الرئيس في مركز التيار الوطني الحر #يوميات_ثورة— قنـــاة الجـــديـــد (@ALJADEEDNEWS) November 23, 2019
The surveillance video, which had recorded the "scene of the crime" as the alleged "crime" was allegedly happening, and upon which the charges against the kids were made, has been also circulating online. As you can see for yourselves from that video (below), that "horrible crime" didn't even occur.
هؤلاء هم الأطفال اللي مجرمين كبار موقوفين من الساعة ٧ المسا. الفيديو يظهر ويؤكد أنهم لم يرتكبوا هذا الجرم الكبير في بلد الفقر والجوع والذل. لاطلاق سراحهم فوراً pic.twitter.com/vcDnmKVdFT— joemaalouf جو معلوف (@joemaalouftv) November 23, 2019
The process of investigation and imprisonment to which these five kids were submitted took nine full hours until they were released at 2:10 in the morning.
We get to wonder what feels more sickening, the despair of the government to gain some shred of control or the dictatorial oppression of freedom to the point of arresting kids and putting them through such a terrifying process? How can Lebanon's current authorities claim the country a democracy when they are violating its basic values?
Have we really reached that level of oppression that they now arrest kids and for allegedly tearing down a piece of paper from a street pole?
Their dreadful action today might have for sure terrified these kids for nine hours and put the parents under hours of anguish, but it also comes to urge the people of the revolution, now even more, of the must for this revolution to prevail and succeed. The price tag on freedom of expression in Lebanon has become unbearable.