Protests escalate across the country over the weekend
- On Saturday, protests in Beirut began early morning as demonstrators blocked roads in Dora and marched from Bourj Hammoud to Mar Mikhael, where they stopped outside Electricite du Liban to denounce electricity cuts, before arriving to Nejmeh Square. Protesters in Bourj Hammoud chanted in Arabic and Armenian.
- Protesters also took to Bisri Valley today morning, rejecting the construction of the dam project.
- Meanwhile, in Sidon, protesters blocked roads today to protest electricity rationing and the lira’s exchange rate. Demonstrations were also organized in Tripoli, Hermel, Kfar Ruman, and Nabatieh.
On day 88, protesters target politicians
- Protesters forced Caretaker Minister of Public Works Youssef Finianos out of Aishti Mall in Antelias, chanting, “All of them means all of them, Finianos is one of them!”.
- Protesters gathered outside La Parilla restaurant in Beirut, chanting against MPs Sami Fatfat and Tarek El Merhebi. The waiters from the restaurant violently hit and injured protesters. This led to an increase of protesters outside the restaurant and calls for its boycott.
Blame game between ministers after Lebanon loses right to vote at the UN
- Lebanon was one of the 10 member states to lose its right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly due to its failure to pay its membership fees for the past two years.
- Meanwhile, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance had a spat over whose fault it was. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement that blamed the Ministry of Finance for always being late with payments, affirming that it had fulfilled all its duties and transactions within the prescribed deadlines.
- The Ministry of Finance, however, responded that it had in fact not received any of these requests and will schedule the payment for Monday morning.
Mission de Vie Charged with child molestation
- Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Ghada Aoun pressed charges on Sunday against the Metn—based Christian charity association, Mission de Vie, for child molestation and failure to cooperate with the judiciary. This case will be forwarded to the First Investigative Judge in Baabda.
- Meanwhile, Mission de Vie released a statement claiming its innocence.
- In December, following an arrest warrant, two nuns at Mission de Vie were detained for a short amount of time. This was after they refused to hand over two of the twelve children, allegedly abused by the association, to child protection services.
Central bank requests exceptional powers
- The governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salameh, confirmed that he has petitioned for exceptional jurisdictional powers to regulate and standardize the measures imposed by commercial banks on depositors.
- According to Reuters, the petition came in the form of a letter Salameh sent on January 9 to Lebanon’s Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, which urged him to take the necessary legal measures to assign the central bank with extra powers.
Protests target Telecoms minister over indefinite extension of Alfa and Touch contracts
- Protesters gathered outside Caretaker Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Choucair’s residence on Sunday to denounce the decision to renew contracts for Alfa and Touch.
- Protesters decried the fact that Choucair had ignored decisions by both the president and telecom parliamentary committee in order to indefinitely renew the contracts. Meanwhile, lawyer Hassan Bazzi reported that a complaint will be filed before public prosecution and the Court of Audit.
Tents set up inside Tripoli’s Rashid Karami Exhibition
- Tents were set up inside the Rashid Karami Exhibition in Tripoli to house around 35 women and children.
- These women, who suffer from dire living conditions, were unable to afford rent. They announced that they will not leave the tents until the state provides them with housing.
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