Protester Burns Himself after Judge Keeps 2 Activists in Detention

A protester set himself ablaze Friday at a sit-in outside the Military Court in Beirut after a judge decided to remand two civil society activists in custody.

The protester, identified as Mohammed Hirz, was rushed to hospital by Red Cross medics, state-run National News Agency said. Media reports said he suffered moderate to severe burn injuries.

An online video shows another protester running with flames engulfing his clothes. It was not immediately clear whether he intentionally set himself on fire.

Earlier in the day, First Military Examining Magistrate Judge Riad Abou Ghida ordered the release of three civil society activists from custody, but kept two others detained in connection with last week's downtown Beirut protest.

Fayez Yassin, Rami Mahfouz and Hussein Ibrahim were released on a LL100,000 bail each.

Abou Ghida rejected the release requests of Pierre Hashash and Waref Suleiman who are still detained.

“There is no justice in keeping Suleiman and Hashash confined. There are political pressures in this file,” civil society lawyers objected.

The civil society demonstrators briefly blocked the road by the Military Court afterwards protesting the ongoing detention of the activists.

The civil society protest movement has called for a 6:00 pm sit-in outside the tribunal.

On Monday, Abou Ghida interrogated the detained activists, releasing five and keeping five others in custody.

Around 62 activists were arrested last week when a civil society protest in downtown Beirut took a violent turn.

Civil society protests first began with the closure of the Naameh landfill in July that sparked a waste disposal crisis in Lebanon that persists to this day.

The demonstrations, which had been staged to protest the crisis, soon developed into a movement against political corruption in Lebanon.


Source: Naharnet

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