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Over a hundred protesters rallied outside a Beirut court on Thursday, following a call to action by the Shi’ite Amal Movement and Hezbollah political groups.

The protesters demanded an end to the judicial investigation of the deadly Beirut port blast of 2020, which shook the country’s capital city.

Hezbollah leadership has questioned the impartiality of Judge Tarek Bitar, who is leading the investigation, and have demanded his removal.

Heavy gunfire broke out at the protest later in the day in the vicinity of the protest, with at least six people killed as a result and the Lebanese Army responding to the scene.

SOUNDBITES:

SOT, Samer Baalbaki, Lawyer (Arabic): "Our stance today is an expression of our rejection of all practices that are carried out in contravention of the law, whether in terms of form or in terms of content. What we demand is correcting the investigation in the right way to reach the truth, the truth that all the Lebanese are demanding. For it to be heading in the right direction to reveal the real perpetrators who committed this great crime, which all Lebanese denounce. It is required that the punishment of the perpetrators be an example for others, but it is not required to select people and exclude others for political ends, which were not achieved through politics and now to be achieved by the judiciary."

SOT, Sheaalan Solieman, Lawyer (Arabic): "The main objective of the sit-in is to correct the course of the investigation into the Beirut port case and not accept exceptionalism in selecting the defendants in this context in order to preserve the rights of the martyrs and wounded who fell in the Beirut port explosion."

#BeirutClashes #Beirut #Lebanon

Video ID: 20211014-043

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