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05 Feb 2020 | 04:39 AM UTC

Lebanon: Ongoing protest reported in Jounieh February 5 /update 87

Reports of ongoing protest in Jounieh on February 5; heightened security presence likely

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LBN

Event

Individuals have gathered in Jounieh as of the afternoon (local time) on Wednesday, February 5, in solidarity with an activist that is being questioned by police. The activist is reportedly under questioning for his participation in the anti-government protest movement, ongoing in the country for over three months. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest.

Associated and anti-government protests in other urban centers over the coming hours and days, most notably in Beirut, cannot be ruled out.

Context

Mass protests originally broke out on October 17, 2019, after the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products and a daily tax on messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The protests forced the government to revoke the tax proposal and since then the demands evolved into calling for the resignation of the government. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, and on January 21, his successor former education minister Hassan Diab, was appointed.

Advice

Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.