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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Violations against Journalists and Photographers Lebanon Protests October 26-29

Wednesday , 30 October 2019

Violations against reporters and photojournalists continued in several regions on Saturday, October 26, 2019, as demonstrations entered their tenth consecutive day. These included the beating by a member of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) of Omar Nashabé, a university lecturer and writer for Al-Akhbar newspaper, on Beirut’s Ring Bridge, during his attempt to seold_parate the former from peaceful protesters. In Beirut’s Chevrolet area, several demonstrators harassed Nada Andraos, a correspondent for LBCI, accusing the TV channel of biased coverage. Similarly, MTV correspondent Nakhlé Odaimé faced harassment from protesters supportive of the Free Patriotic Movement in the Nahr al-Mawt area.

On the eleventh day of protests, Sunday, October 27, LBCI correspondent Nada Andraos faced harassment once again from a demonstrator in the Chevrolet area. On Monday, October 28, a demonstrator assaulted freelance photojournalist Ali Hankir while he was covering the blocking of roads by a number of young men in Sidon’s Nijmeh Square. The same day, while covering the road situation in the central Beqaa region, Al-Manar’s TV crew was attacked by protesters who tried to prevent them filming in both Dahr al-Baydar and al-Mansura intersection. 

On the demonstrations’ thirteenth day, Tuesday, October 29, dozens of Amal Movement and Hezbollah supporters attacked peaceful protesters and journalists gathered at the Ring Bridge, beating them with sticks and pelting them with large rocks. The journalists known to have been assaulted include the MTV crew, comprising correspondents Raneen Idris and Zeina Bassil and cameramen Lutfallah Bou Khazen and Elie Rashid, the latter suffering a broken hand. The crew’s cameras were also destroyed, and their logo stolen. BBC correspondent Ghaith Solh was taken to hospital after being beaten on the head, while The Daily Star reporter Timour Azhari was prevented from filming. LBCI correspondent Raneem Bou Khzam was harassed to the point of being unable to continue her coverage. Similarly, an attacker attempted to remove Nidaa Al-Watan reporter Maryam Seifeddine’s telephone from her hand and push her forcefully, though she resisted him and was able to escape amid a barrage of insults against her. The phones of numerous demonstrators attempting to film the assault were broken.

Amal Movement and Hezbollah supporters then moved to Riad al-Solh and Martyrs Squares, continuing their attacks on demonstrators and journalists, and burning tents. A live broadcast vehicle belonging to Studio Vision was attacked. Protesters were prevented from filming, and a number of those who did successfully film the events with their phones were assaulted. One attacker tried to steal the phone of Annahar correspondent Reine Bou Moussa while she was broadcasting live on Facebook, but security forces were able to detain the attacker and her phone was returned to her. Another Annahar reporter, Ali Awada, was accidentally beaten by ISF members who mistook him for one of those attacking the demonstrators.

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