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01 Dec 2020 | 02:10 PM UTC

Lebanon: Demonstrators to gather in Beirut on December 2

Anti-government demonstrators to gather outside Beirut’s Palace of Justice on December 2; avoid the area as a precaution

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LBN

Event

Demonstrators are set to gather in the capital Beirut on Wednesday, December 2, to demand the prosecution of those responsible for the Port of Beirut explosion on August 4. Participants will reportedly gather from 11:00 (local time) outside the Palais De Justice. While the protest is intended to remain peaceful, it may be well attended.

A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are expected in the vicinity of the demonstration. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

The August 4 explosion killed at least 177 people, injured 6000 others, and caused billions of Lebanese Pounds in damages. The blast is believed to have been caused by 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which had been unsafely stored in the area. A state of emergency was initially declared on August 5, and 20 officials responsible for the operation of the port have so far been placed under arrest.

Allegations of mismanagement regarding the substance's storage come during sustained unrest since October 2019 over corruption and economic hardship within the country whereby protesters have called for reforms to the governance of Lebanon.

Advice

Those in Beirut are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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