FPM supporters attack man, causing major uproar
- A video circulated widely late Wednesday night showing Free Patriotic Movement MP Ziad Aswad’s supporters assaulting a man from Tripoli in Keserouan. Protesters took to the street in Tripoli and Jounieh to condemn the violent attack and reject sectarianism. Protesters also gathered outside the FPM offices in Zahle and Halba. The latter was set on fire.
- While the FPM released a statement on Thursday condemning the attack, the party emphasized that “insulting politicians, their lives and their dignity is unacceptable.” A group of lawyers filed a complaint at the Public Prosecution Discriminatory of Beirut against those responsible for the attack on counts of incitement of hatred, sectarian strife, and blasphemy.
Protesters chase ex-Economy Minister out of bar
- Protesters accosted and chased out formed Minister of Economy Raed Khoury on Wednesday night as he was having drinks with journalist Hicham Haddad in Beirut's Ashrafieh.
- The protesters blamed Khoury for helping accelerate the current economic crisis, which has led to increased unemployment.
- Khoury is a founding partner and sits on the Executive Board of Cedrus Investment Bank.
Lawyers denounce torture during revolution
- The Lawyers’ Committee for the Defense of Protesters held a press conference Thursday condemning the violations committed by security apparatuses. Lawyers’ reports marked 550 protestor injuries, some amounting to torture, by the security forces and government supporters.
- The Lebanese army was also accused of power abuse particularly in Tripoli, Zouk, and inside detention centers. The lawyers documented instances of forced kidnapping and torture. The parliamentary police and the army’s intelligence were accused of similar violations.
- Having submitted 15 complaints of torture to the Public Prosecution Discriminatory, the lawyers condemned the office’s unlawful transfer of these cases to the Military General Prosecution as this would threaten the transparency and fairness of the trials.
Cabinet approves policy statement ahead of parliamentary vote
- Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced Thursday that the cabinet passed the new policy statement with minimal amendments. Most notably, President Michel Aoun insisted on including the return of Syrian refugees in the statement, alleging that Syria has to become nearly secure.
- A previously-leaked 17—page draft laid out 100 day plans and 3—year roadmaps for several objectives which include interest reductions, corporatization of the public sector to lower public debt, and adoption of measures to protect depositors’ money, with no mention of the measures.
- The statement would be unveiled during a parliamentary session on Tuesday which will include a vote of confidence for the government.
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