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30 Jan 2020 | 06:27 AM UTC

Lebanon: Ongoing sit-in reported in Zahlé January 30 /update 85

Sit-in reported in Zahlé on January 30; avoid all protests

security
transportation
LBN

Event

A sit-in has been reported at the Palace of Justice in Zahlé (Beqaa Governorate) on Thursday, January 30. Protesters have called for the return of "looted funds, justice and the integrity of the judiciary." A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest.

Similar protests are possible in Beirut on Thursday in the coming hours.

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 Beirut, and in Lebanon more generally, 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.