The resumption of protests in Lebanon undermines the Lebanese army’s position as the “defender of the people”

The Facebook page “ you stink Lebanon” (in Arabic “Talaeat Ryhatukum“), which has been supporting protest demonstrations since Oct. 2019 with over 300,000 followers, critically criticizes the Lebanese army in a post comparing it to a reign of “oppression and plunder”: “The army strikes the people with the butt of the rifle as a symbol of revenge. The army that asks not to photograph the barbaric oppression that is in violation of the law. The army that attacks defenseless civilians. It is not a mechanism for protecting the people, but a tool for protecting the reign of plunder and corruption …”.

رسمات تشرح ما تعرض له المتظاهرين المعتقلين الذين تم خطفهم من قبل أجهزة الدولة اللبنانية. واستنادا لما جاء في التقارير…

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Sunday, May 3, 2020

The post accompanied by a video in which one of the protesters can be seen being pushed by Lebanese army soldiers, who at the same time are confronting other protesters. In the background, people are shouting in Arabic “Shabiha” (thugs). In addition, one of the soldiers appears to be trying to prevent the video from being shot. The video can be viewed at:

Posted by Genwa Genweten on Friday, May 1, 2020

In addition, the Facebook page uploaded drawings showing the torture of the protesters who were arrested during the demonstrations. According to medical reports conducted after the release of the protesters, they encountered three methods of torture in the basements of Lebanese security services: torture devices, electric shocks, and vigorous physical blows.

The above Facebook page completely undermines the narrative of the Lebanese equation: “Army-People-Resistance”, a narrative that Hezbollah intensified throughout the protests that began in October 2019. Throughout demonstrations that began in October 2019, protesters supported and saw the Lebanese army as a part of them. However, now in light of the above posts, which received very high exposure, the military is labeled as an “enemy”, identified with the corrupt governmental mechanisms (together with Hezbollah).

Above: Illustration of torture practices applied on demonstrators as featured on the Facebook page “Lebanon you stink
https://www.facebook.com/YouStinkLebanon/photos/pcb.2980368942225207/2980368528891915/?type=3&theater

Tal Beeri

Tal Beeri

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