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21 Apr 2020 | 04:57 AM UTC

Lebanon: Protests scheduled nationwide April 21-22 /update 96

Individuals to protest nationwide despite COVID-19 restrictions on April 21-22; heightened security presence likely

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Event

Anti-government protesters have called for a nationwide mobilization on Tuesday, April 21, and Wednesday, April 22, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak that has stalled commercial life in a country that is facing immense economic challenges. Organizers have asked participants to comply with all COVID-19 restrictions by remaining in their vehicles and to carry Lebanese flags. Participants are set to gather as of 11:00 (local time) and the protests will begin at 12:00 on both days. Places of gatherings have been identified as follows:

Protests were reported on Monday, April 20, in Beirut and Tripoli after curfew hours, which are between 20:00 and 05:00.

A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of all protests, particularly due to the COVID-19 restrictions.  

Context

Mass protests originally broke out in Lebanon on October 17, 2019, after the Lebanese 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 demands have since evolved into calls for the resignation of the government. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, and on January 21, former education minister Hassan Diab was appointed as his successor.

Advice

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