Crackdown on protesters escalates late Wednesday night
- After Internal Security Forces (ISF) prevented protesters from reaching Nejmeh Square, some protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the ISF. The ISF indiscriminately attacked protesters with tear gas and water cannons.
- The Lebanese Army was later deployed to disperse protesters, pushing them back towards the highway. Protesters then stormed the former MTC Touch building, breaking its front windows.
- Meanwhile, ISF arrested thirteen protesters in Beirut and the Lebanese Red Cross stated that 86 individuals had been injured in the clashes. The army also arrested nine people in Jeb Jennine for blocking main roads, stating that one protester had thrown a tear gas canister at a soldier.
On day 99, security forces block entrances to Nejmeh amidst handover ceremonies
- Handover ceremonies for the various ministries took place throughout the day. Meanwhile, security forces completely blocked entrances to Nejmeh Square with metal panels and barricades. A number of shops in the area also took similar precautions to prevent potential destruction.
Bassil cornered at Davos conference
- Former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil spoke at a panel titled “The Return of Arab Unrest” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This came after massive backlash, with tens of thousands signing petitions condemning his attendance.
- Bassil was grilled by panelists and the moderator, CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble, who challenged his former position as Minister of Energy. Bassil blamed the failure of the electricity sector on confessional considerations of the political establishment. When questioned on how he had funded the trip, Bassil said costs were covered by a friend.
- He also took the opportunity to plead to world leaders to save Lebanon so it does not become “a failed state.”
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