ROUNDUP OF THE WEEK
Government cracks down on RAMCO's workers
- Security forces suppressed protests by RAMCO's workers demanding their rights and fair payment of their wages on Tuesday. Workers accused the company of intimidating, torturing, and attempting to kill them.
Complete lockdown reinstated after returnees spike number of infections
- After an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, the government announced a state of complete lockdown from Wednesday evening until Monday morning. This came after restrictions had eased, enabling some non-essential businesses to open with a 30% capacity. The government blamed the increase of cases on people's neglect. Notably, a plane that arrived from Kano, Nigeria on May 7 was carrying 25 COVID-19 patients.
IMF-Lebanon negotiations launched
- The IMF and Lebanon started remote discussions on Wednesday surrounding the country's economic rescue plan. The government affirmed on April 30 that Lebanon was set to apply for the International Monetary Fund's program. Following the initial discussions, Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told AFP on Friday that Lebanon was ready to float the pound after securing billions in aid.
Martyr Hussein Attar's killer arrested
- The General Security arrested K.A.A, killer of martyr Hussein Attar, on Wednesday after he had fled to Syria. Attar was martyred in the early beginnings of the revolution on October 19, 2019 when he was trying to prevent bribery on the airport road.
Kafala system during lockdown: two deaths in a week
- In one week, two deaths were officially reported amongst migrant workers without investigating the circumstances. The Civil Defense reported the death of an Ethiopian migrant worker in Metn on May 7 and a migrant domestic worker was found dead in Ghassanieh on May 11. The imposed lockdown and airport closure, coupled with the country's financial crisis, have exacerbated the conditions of migrant workers who have long suffered under the kafala system.
Detainees released amid increasing protests outside military court
- Waddah Ghanwi and Mahmoud Mroueh from Saida and Rabih Chmali from Taalbaya were released on Wednesday, as well as 11 other protesters who had been arrested in the most recent Tripoli protests.
- Earlier this week, protests were organized outside the military courts in Beirut demanding the immediate release of the detainees. The Alternative Press Syndicate also organized a sit-in, this time at Beirut's Justice Palace, in condemnation of the recent summons of journalists by security agencies.