Al-Hassan Calls for Continuing ISF Probe in Protest Violence
Caretaker Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan on Friday asked Internal Security Forces Inspector General Col. Fadi Saliba to “continue the investigations that the ISF Directorate General is conducting into the incidents of the past 48 hours.”
Al-Hassan stressed that injured protesters can submit complaints with the ISF’s inspection department.
She also urged demonstrators to “maintain the peaceful nature of protests and avoid attacking public and private property.”
Security forces on Thursday released most of the 100-plus anti-government protesters detained in the past 48 hours, lawyers told AFP, after two nights of violent demonstrations in Beirut.
Demonstrators have denounced police use of force while Amnesty International has denounced what it said were "arbitrary arrests."
"What we have witnessed in the past couple of days is an alarming attack on freedom of assembly and expression," said the watchdog's Middle East research director Lynn Maalouf.
"Acts by a minority of protesters who vandalized banks or threw stones is never a justification for such excessive use of force and sweeping arrests by law enforcement," she added.
ISF chief Maj. Gen. Imad Othman on Thursday apologized to journalists and media outlets following a night of violent demos that involved assaults on journalists at the hands of ISF members.
“The ISF members are not robots and they err as every human,” Othman explained.
He lamented that policemen are “facing great violence and infiltrators who have criminal records.”