BEIRUT: Tear gas, arrests, and incidences of brutality showered protesters demanding the release of the detained protesters from the Tuesday night arrests on Hamra Street, and instead of releasing the already detained protesters, another group joined them a few hours later.
The gathered protestors on Wednesday in front of El Helou Station marched from BDL to El Helou Station in response to the 59 detainees who were taken after an escalation in front of BDL between Internal Security Forces and protesters leaving multiple nearby banks with facades of broken glass and graffiti.
The ISF was also hit with rocks.
A legal expert told Annahar that the total number of detainees between the two nights was approximately 112 protesters, he explained that heavy marks of abuse were apparent on the protesters, including a number of them that had to be taken to hospitals from the station.
All were released yesterday except for two which were accused of extreme vandalism and intent of violence towards the ISF, and seven migrant workers who did not have their legal papers.
Raghed Waked, activist and photographer explained to Annahar, “I was standing taking photos, (Wednesday) and after the police saw me taking pictures, they were already attacking protesters, one of them ran towards me and I was hit very hard with the stick multiple times on my hand in order to stop me from documenting.”
Caretaker Interior Minister, Raya El Hassan, addressed the brutality yesterday during a press conference in front of the ministry. “Nothing justifies the violence against journalists last night, and I will hold responsibility for it as I am the head of the pyramid.”
She also said that the ISF had multiple injuries and attacks, in a press release she also apologized for brutality against the activists.
According to the legal advocate that asked his name not be used, injuries on protestors varied in intensity, ranging from bruises to broken bones, concussions, and even amnesia. Rafif Sawne, an activist who was attacked in front of El-Helou Station experience intense amnesia only recalling her beating.
Another protester who was arrested on Hamra Street on Tuesday described how after the ISF failed to make him leave the streets, "they pushed me back with their sticks and all of sudden I was surrounded by the whole force being showered with kicks and hits."
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