Lebanon protests grow over economic crisis and political impasse


It was a Christmas of protests in Lebanon. The formation of a government was the promised gift, but those elected failed to iron out their differences, forcing people out onto the streets to demonstrate against the many problems crippling the country.

A number of civil society groups have organised protests over the last 10 days, marching in Tripoli and Nabatieh, while the capital, Beirut, drew one of the biggest gatherings.

The protests were focused on an economic crisis, which has led to falling living standards, and has worsened since May due to political instability caused by the inability of political factions to form a government.

Those taking part chanted slogans demanding an end to corruption and better civic facilities, as well as reminding politicians to do what they had been elected to do and run the country.

Scuffles broke out between Lebanese soldiers and those marching in Beirut – with some protesters burning rubbish and throwing rubbish bins in the direction of the soldiers.

Hasan Shaaban, a photographer with the English-language newspaper Daily Star, was one of those attacked by soldiers.

“The soldiers kicked me to the ground, punched me, and hit me anywhere they could,” he said.




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