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Lebanese journalist Mohammad Zbeeb was assaulted on Wednesday in Beirut’s Hamra thoroughfare after attending a seminar on financial policies and banking measures organized by The Secular Club at the American University of Beirut.

Anti-government protesters and a group of journalists rallied Thursday outside the central bank in Hamra in solidarity with prominent economic journalist Mohammed Zbeeb, who was beaten up overnight at the hands of three unknown attackers.

Three men attacked Zbeeb at a parking lot after he left the event on Wednesday.

Following the attack, the journalist was taken to the AUB Medical Center and was released later that night.

The identity of the attackers is still unknown and their motives are not clear.

Zbeeb , who resigned from his position as editor in chief of al-Akhbar newspaper business page, wrote in a tweet on Nov 5, 2019 : “I submitted my resignation from al-Akhbar to protest the administration’s attitude towards the Revolution.”

His resignation from the Al-Akhbar daily , pro-Hezbollah and Syrian regime came shortly after nationwide protests erupted against the ruling elite, corruption and an economic slowdown..

On Thursday, the Alternative Journalists Union said the assault is “an attack on all journalists, the revolution and a crime against freedoms.”

Later, a number of activists staged a sit-in outside the Interior Ministry in Beirut’s Sanayeh area, in solidarity with Zbeeb.

Following the attack, Zbeeb tweeted, “We’re not afraid and we won’t hide.”

The Journalists’ Union in a statement described the attack as a “cowardly act” and called on authorities and the judiciary to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Since protests in Beirut became violent last month, Lebanese journalists have been subject to increasing brutality.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said last month that police officers have harassed, attacked, or detained journalists covering protests in Beirut.

It called on the Lebanese authorities to investigate the attacks and hold those responsible to account.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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