SUN 23 - 2 - 2020
Jan 21, 2020
The Daily Star
Lebanon: Campaign highlighting police violence goes viral
BEIRUT: A social media campaign highlighting police violence against protesters during clashes over the weekend went viral Monday. Angry Lebanese took to Twitter to post their support, under the hashtag “Our revolution is your eyes.”
The campaign invited social media users to post a picture of themselves covering one eye with their hand, in solidarity with protesters shot in the face and eyes with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters fired by security forces.
“Security forces and those who direct it, point their weapons directly at the eyes and heads and faces of protesters. They blind the eyes of the youth of Lebanon,” said Lebanese writer Lucien Bourjeily via Twitter, with an accompanying picture.
Numerous reports of protesters being shot in the face with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters have surfaced since Sunday evening’s protests. Video footage on local media showed some individuals in hospital with their eyes bandaged.
Official ammunition guides state that rubber bullets should not be shot directly at human bodies. The rubber-coated projectiles are meant to be shot at the ground and rebound to hit targets in the legs only.
Protests over the weekend were some of the most violent Lebanon has seen since nationwide anti-government demonstrations broke out three months ago.
At least 90 people were injured during Sunday’s confrontations. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 38 were transported to hospital and 52 were treated at the scene.
Lebanon’s security forces have used rubber bullets as a crowd control weapon since Oct. 18, the day after protests began. However, for the first time Saturday, the bullets caused severe injuries.
In the hours following Saturday’s clashes, graphic images of rubber bullet wounds sustained by protesters were posted on social media. The Committee of Pro-Bono Lawyers to Defend Protesters confirmed that at least one person lost his right eye and two others had sustained head and facial injuries.
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