Video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri security beating protesters sparks anger in Lebanon

Lebanese social media users have reacted angrily to a video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri’s security personnel hitting people in a Beirut restaurant. (Screenshot/Twitter: @DalalMawad)
Lebanese social media users have reacted angrily to a video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri’s security personnel hitting people in a Beirut restaurant. (Screenshot/Twitter: @DalalMawad)
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Updated 12 December 2020

Video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri security beating protesters sparks anger in Lebanon

Lebanese social media users have reacted angrily to a video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri’s security personnel hitting people in a Beirut restaurant. (Screenshot/Twitter: @DalalMawad)
  • The incident follows a string of recent cases of protesters confronting politicians at restaurants and cafes in Lebanon

LONDON: Lebanese social media users have reacted angrily to a video appearing to show Ahmad Hariri’s security personnel hitting people in a Beirut restaurant on Friday evening.

The clip, posted on Twitter by journalist Dalal Mawad on Saturday morning, shows bodyguards for Hariri — who is Lebanese prime minister-designate Saad Hariri’s cousin and the secretary general of the Future Movement — at Gavi Italian restaurant in the downtown part of the Lebanese capital.

Protesters who, according to Mawad, objected to Hariri’s presence at the restaurant, chanted and motioned toward Hariri before being hit and pushed away by security guards. One of the people being hit in the clip appears to be a woman.

The incident follows a string of recent cases of protesters confronting politicians at restaurants and cafes in Lebanon.

A Twitter user with the username UsamalbnMunqid said: “The whole Lebanese political elite needs to be jailed whether it is Hariri, Aoun, Berri and many more.”

Another, going by the name of Rima Tarabay, asked if the people being hit were offered any apology, while another called the footage “disgusting.”

Hariri took to Twitter himself on Saturday to apologize, saying: “What happened yesterday between one of my companions and a young woman from among a group that I was talking to amicably has distorted this meeting. I personally take responsibility and emphasise that nothing replaces dialogue.

“All respect for the group of youth and apologies for every offense caused.”

Lebanon has seen protests against the country’s government since October 2019, exacerbated by the perceived failings of the political elite for their inaction leading up to the Aug. 4 explosions in Beirut, which killed more than 200 people and wounded thousands.

On Thursday, Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab — often a target of protesters’ ire — and three former ministers were charged with negligence over the explosion.