Protests denounce arrests and deputies’ participation in session
- Mount Lebanon General Prosecutor Bassam Hage issued an arrest warrant against Tripolitan activist Rabih El Zein with charges of blocking roads and committing vandalism. El Zein’s supporters staged a protest outside Tripoli’s Serail and blocked the road in condemnation of the arrest.
- Protesters in Byblos also blocked the highway to denounce the arrests of George Kazzi, Mohamad Srour, who have been detained for a month, and Rabih El Zein while demonstrators in Beirut gathered outside the Ministry of Interior to denounce the Internal Security Forces’ attempts to reopen Martyrs’ Square.
- Separately, Protesters in Tripoli targeted Future Movement and Azm Party MPs’ houses for participating in Monday’s parliamentary session, which they considered unconstitutional.
“Deal of the Century” met with widespread condemnation
- Dubbed the “deal of the century,” US. President Donald Trump, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unveiled Tuesday night the plan for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state with east Jerusalem towns serving as its capital. Settlements in the West Bank and Agwar —which make up 42% of the territory— will be placed under Israeli law, according to Trump. Neither Palestinians displaced during the 1948 Nakba nor their descendants would be granted right of return under this deal. It also prohibits any Palestinian to pursue legal ramifications against Israel in the International Criminal Court.
- Lebanese political parties and officials condemned the proposal while Palestinian refugees in Ain el Helwe announced a general strike and marched in the camp to denounce the plan. Protesters also gathered in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square and Saida’s Elia roundabout to stand With the Palestinian cause.
Arrest warrant issued for Alaa Abu Fakher’s suspected killer
- Judge Tony Lattouf issued an arrest warrant against Army colonel Nidal Daou in the case of Alaa Abu Fakher’s death. Daou was previously questioned but was released with no charges.
- Abu Fakher was killed on November 12 in Khalde in front of his wife and son. He became a symbol for the revolution, as protesters across the country mourned his untimely death. Daou will be questioned again by the Military Court of Cassation after an appeal was made by the Public Prosecution.
- First Adjutant Charbel Ajeil, who was driving the military vehicle with Daou, has also been charged again.
Military judge rejects homosexuality charges
- Military Prosecutor Peter Germanos refused to penalize an unnamed sergeant for “homosexual activity,” despite alleged pressure from former Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab. This is the second such ruling from the military tribunal.
- The Daily Star reported that Bou Saab “explicitly asked” Germanos to file the charge for “the criminal act of homosexuality.” Germanos, however, opted to dismiss this request and close the case.
- According to the English daily, Germanos did not consider the sergeant to be unlawful, since he engaged in consensual same-sex activity. The Lebanese judiciary has continued to challenge the use of Article 534 of the penal code—which criminalizes “any sexual act contrary to nature.”
No coronavirus in Lebanon
- The World Health Organization and the American University of Beirut Medical Center have both denied rumors of coronavirus cases in Lebanon.
- The virus, which originated from Wuhan, a Chinese city of 11 million, has so far claimed 81 lives and prompted temporary international and regional travel bans. It took scientists a week to identify and isolate the virus, and the US. Center for Disease Control has already developed a test.
- Historically, there have been seven types of coronaviruses that have infected humans. In 2012, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), identified in Saudi Arabia, led to the death of 858 out of 2,494 confirmed infections.
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