Amid ongoing protests in Lebanon, hundreds of journalists on Thursday staged a rally outside the Interior Ministry in Beirut against the anti-riot polices use of excessive force against demonstrators in recent days.
Lebanon’s Interior minister Raya al-Hassan approached the journalists, assuring them that any aggression against the media was rejected and condemned, according to report.
“We do not accept the attack on media professionals and journalists who are responsible for covering current events and developments,” al-Hassan said.
The security forces beat journalists and photographers who were covering the rallies on al-Hamra street Tuesday and in front of al-Helou police station on Wednesday.
Journalists and photographers said they had their equipment broken and were prohibited from doing their job.
O Wednesday, at least 35 people were injured after clashes broke out between protesters and the army.
Lebanon has been swept by a wave of mostly peaceful protests aimed at the country’s elite that prompted Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign on Oct. 29, pushing the country deeper into economic crisis.
On Tuesday night, riots broke out in Beirut’s Hamra area, with bank facades smashed and stones pelted at security forces who fired back with tear gas.
Last month, protesters took to the street in Lebanon and asked the banks to allow them to withdraw more money.
Anti-government protesters, who largely blame the country’s dire economy on corrupt politicians, say the limits are illegal and have turned their fury against bank officials and the financial sector.
Over recent weeks, the local currency has taken a nosedive, losing more than 30% of its value after over 20 years of being pegged to the dollar.
The economic slowdown and a drop in cash injections from Lebanese abroad reduced the central bank’s foreign currency reserves and led to a shortage of dollars for businesses and individuals.
The demonstrators said that they refused Diab’s appointment because it would empower corrupted political parties who were adopting the same old concept of arguing about shares in the government, which should not be the case amid the current pressing economic and financial challenges prevailing in the country.
(With inputs from agency)