Lebanese Riot Police clashed with protesters outside the Central Bank in Beirut on Tuesday night. The Riot Police fired tear gas at protesters, some of whom were throwing rocks and fireworks at them. Videos emerged showing security forces beating protesters. Local media also reported that security forces fired live rounds into the air.
Protesters, chanting that they were angry at the deteriorating economic situation and informal capital controls imposed by the banks, smashed bank fronts and ATM machines and set garbage dumpsters on fire on Hamra Street, where the Central Bank is located.
The Civil Defense reported that it transported 25 people to the hospital and treated 20 at the scene during the Hamra clashes. The Internal Security Forces stated that 47 were injured from their ranks.
The Lawyers' Committee for the Defense of Protesters told Human Rights Watch that security forces arrested 65 protesters during the Central Bank protests in Hamra. Three protesters were detained at the Ramlet el Bayda police station and released hours later. As of noon Beirut time on January 15, five protesters remain detained at the Ras Beirut police station, and 57 remain detained at the El-Helou police station.
According to the Lawyers’ Committee for the Defense of Protesters, security forces also arrested two women on the Ring Road in central Beirut. The reasons for their arrest are unknown. They were taken to the Gemmayze police station and released shortly after.