Lebanese protesters beaten by the Parliament’s police in election law protest


At least seven people were injured in Beirut on Friday as Lebanese Parliament’s security Police , which is under the command of Speaker Nabih Berri used batons and sticks to break up a demonstration against a new electoral law introduced earlier this week, eyewitnesses reported.

Some reports indicated that the Parliament’s security police wore army uniforms , but this was denied as fabrication

Demonstrators had organised in front of the parliamentary building in the Lebanese capital to protest an agreement reached on Tuesday between Lebanon’s rival parties paving the way for an eventual parliamentary election.

“We were treated with unprecedented brutality just for trying to defend our basic rights,” Lucien Bourjeily, one of the protest organisers and a Youstink activist told Middle East Eye.

The Youstink movement, a civil group originally established to protest Lebanon’s rubbish crisis, has organised many protests since its establishment in 2015. The movement was accused by the government of forming gang riots and causing civil disruption.

A video that was circulated over social media showed two women among the protests brutally beaten by the Parliament’s security Police in army uniforms .

According to Bourjeli, the demonstrators were attacked by the security personnel when they started throwing eggs at MPs’ cars as they drove through the gates of the parliament’s complex.

The women, identified as Youstink activists Nada Nasif and Rita Hanna, were treated for their wounds on site, Bourjeili told MEE.

According to Beirut-based journalist Kareem Chehayeb, the incident was sparked by protesters attempting to enter Najmeh Square, where the Lebanese parliament is based.

“All the small streets leading to the square are usually barred by security forces. Whenever there’s a protests, they seal those streets shut,” Chehayeb told MEE.

“The protesters wanted to show the opposition to the electoral law by entering Najmeh Square,” said Chehayeb. “Despite not using any violence, security forces beat them up as they tried to walk into the square.”

‘Illegal extension’

Activists believe the new law is merely an extension of an illegal system currently in place.

“We were protesting the illegal extension of parliament for a fourth time and the postponing of the elections once again,”

“The elections should have happened by now,” added Bourjeily.

The agreement reached on Tuesday averted a crisis that had threatened to unravel the political deal that brought president Michel Aoun to office last year, more than two years after the previous president left.

“We are angry because the people in power do not represent us. The extension means denying us the right to choose our representatives and hold them accountable. The last time we had an elections was nine years ago,” explained Bourjeily.

Politicians have spent months wrangling over the new law and had a deadline of 20 June to pass it before parliament’s term expired.

The country has never been without a parliament before, but the present parliament has extended its own term twice since 2009 because of fundamental disagreements between the parties.

Aoun and his allies say the way in which members of parliament are chosen in the existing system, and its drawing of electoral districts, gives Muslims too much say over which Christians are elected.

Their critics say the system has encouraged political alliances across sectarian lines.

The law does not implement previously proposed reforms, including a quota for women, allowing Lebanese army soldiers to vote and lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, according to Annahar.



4 responses to “Lebanese protesters beaten by the Parliament’s police in election law protest”

  1. Danny Farah Avatar
    Danny Farah

    Thank you Mr Aoun, Berri, Mashnouq and all the dicks in the parliament for Protecting Thugs in Dahia but beating up innocent Protesters who are only seeking to eliminate corruptions in the government that has gone on for too long. Mashnouq let the Truck drivers close roads and attack protesters for days before he begged them to withdraw. Berri sends his thugs to attack protesters with knives and terrorize them when the protesters were only protesting the garbage Crisis. there is no democracy in Lebanon. This is Iranian style police who demolished the protesters during the election. we have no government we have thugs and followers and the rest get beaten then shut up cause they have no one to turn too. Lebanon is a Tyranny rule the top dogs get to control and we have to obey.

    1. Sex & Chocolate Avatar
      Sex & Chocolate

      You speak your mind mr Danny, right you are about the savages, if civilian life mattered in Lebanon things would look different.

      1. Thierry Mattea Avatar
        Thierry Mattea

        Ironically, it is the CIVILIANS who are the ONLY ones to blame. Politicians are powerless without the support of CIVILIANS. After all, they all come from civilians. The only way to counteract these so called thugs (in power and on the streets) is by complete and unabating civil disobedience. NOT a casual Saturday afternoon stroll downtown before heading back out to pubs and nightclubs to spend the rest of the evening!!! Civilians are the components that keep the economic engine running. If everyone, or the majority at least, boycott going to work and shut down all the main roads until real change happen, the thugs will be helpless and eventually submit to the will of the people. Think Tunisia, Egypt, Venezuela, and yes, even Syria! Change is painful but much better than stagnation. Instead, the Lebanese brand of protesting is what I call Protest à la Mode! You have to make an appointment with your friends before meeting-up to protest something… whatever is fashionable at the time, before rushing back to your programmed, materialistic lives. No one is willing to sacrifice their daily comforts, iPhones, fancy cars, dead end jobs… and yet expect the cancer to disappear all on its’ own! Tragic delusions! And since the “thugs” have successfully and INTENTIONALLY fragmented the populace into infinite fragments, there’s no chance in hell change will happen, the the thugs will continue to rape us and get filthy rich in the process! So my advice is… stock-up on Vaseline!

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