The Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi announced that two of the Amal supporters who had attacked peaceful protesters during the protest at the Council of the South in Jnah on Friday were arrested.
“They will be referred to the relevant judicial authorities for the necessary legal measures against them, and security agencies are continuing their raids to arrest other assailants who took part in the attack on protesters,” MP Fahmi asserted.
In one video, a man is seen brutally assaulting a female protester who was recording from her cellphone.
Another video showed Amal supporters ambushing a bus full of people gathering in Jnah to demonstrate.
15 people were injured before they even got to start their demonstration. MTV crew reported that their car and equipment were also attacked, and they had to retreat from the area.
MP Fahmi condemned the behavior, saying that the ministry “will not allow security violators to insult the dignity of any citizen, under any circumstance, excuse, or reason.” He stressed that protesting is a right enshrined in the law.
He also emphasized that among the ministry’s missions is the “protection of all citizens, be them protesters or not, and the prevention of acts of rioting and vandalism.”
This attack was one of the many times Amal supporters have assaulted peaceful protesters during their demonstrations and sit-ins.
Assailants occasionally destroyed tents and assailed people with sticks, without yet succeeding in dissuading the people from protesting for their rights.
The people, being their own best reporters, posted close-up pictures of these recent assailants on social media with their full information and tagged the Lebanese Army, and some local and international media outlets.
Unlike previous incidents, the authorities acted this time. One of the attackers was even arrested immediately after ambushing peaceful protesters. It was reported that MP Fahmi is calling on the Amal party to hand over the remaining assailants.
This move is significant because it signals a possible change with the new government wherein they actually hold the people responsible for assaulting the protesters accountable.
Could this be a sign that the new government is beginning to take steps in the right direction? Only time will tell.