Lebanese Students Asking For Their Rights Were Met With Violence And Sexual Harassment

Rabih Yassine/Marwan Nassar

On the day of the massive protest organized by AUB secular students, protesters clashed once again with riot police in front of the American University of Beirut (AUB), as students made their rejection of the dollarization of tuition fees clear.

Protesters were beaten with sticks and pushed away from the gates of AUB on Bliss Street, reliving the events of their previous protest.

However, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) did not only resort to violence this time, but some even crossed the line of decency when they groped vulnerable female protesters who were trying to escape the chaotic scene.

Some of these various incidents of outrageous sexual misconduct were caught on camera.

Rabih Yassine
Rabih Yassine

Security forces were heavily deployed around AUB and patrolling Hamra street, while hundreds of students gathered in front of their university protesting the dollarization of tuition fees.

That dollarization has translated into a tremendous tuition increase, with the local currency losing more than 80 percent of its value against the dollar in the past year.

The result is catastrophic for most students who won’t be able to continue their education, and they found themselves with no other alternative but to protest.

Credits: Mohamad Azakir

Multiple students spray-painted the outer walls of the university with words such as Thawra (revolution) and chanted against the university while holding banners that read “Education is not a commodity.”

Students were aiming to enter the university through the two gates on Bliss Street, but they were forcefully pushed back by security forces in what resulted in violent clashes between the two sides.

The young demonstrators then moved to the seafront entrance of AUB, where they were also met with police violence.

Protesters were mainly AUB and Lebanese American University (LAU) students since LAU has also altered the tuition fee exchange rate, hiking up the price for education in Lebanon.

Students were also protesting against the violence they encountered last week when they demonstrated in front of AUB for the same reasons.

Even though AUB’s president Fadlo Khoury stated that the university is against the violence students were subjected to, nothing changed this time around as caught on camera, and images and videos circulating social media, fueling public outrage.

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