The following parties and groups: Lebanese National Bloc Party, Beirut Madinati, Minteshreen, Lihaqqi, People's Observatory Against Corruption (Marsad Shaabi), Tahalof Watani, Mada, and STREET jointly released the following statement:
Charging the defendants in Tripoli's incidents with terrorism and robbery crimes constitutes a serious escalation in the series of repressive practices used by the #OccupyingPower against people.
This alarming development confirms that the security system is tightening again its grip on the country. On the other hand, it exposes the judicial power that became a compliant instrument in the hands of the ruling system, by filing terrorism charges in Tripoli in the absence of objective and compelling evidence by the Military Tribunal, which in turn does not meet basic due process of fair trials. At the same time, we witness how the judiciary is bowing to political pressure and sectarian considerations to cover up the Beirut port explosion case, which alone constitutes the largest terrorist operation against the Lebanese, and how it is sitting on its hands watching the thieves of the state, of depositors’ money, and people’s rights.
For this reason, we warn of this rapid shift towards the repressive regime that is turning Lebanon into a state fully aligned with regional regimes supporting a de facto authority in the country, which only resorts to security solutions to address economic, political, and social crises. The assassination of the opposition activist Lokman Slim, banning some TV channels from broadcasting in areas considered by the ruling party as its exclusive stronghold, as well as measures taken by the Parliament’s media committee against media outlets, are clear, repeated, and increasing indications of this shift.
Hence, we reaffirm that these authoritarian practices did not and will not scare us. We will continue our battle to protect public freedoms and rights of marginalized groups to the end.
We also call on all those who are aligned with the October 17 revolution, and all the dynamic and active forces of the society to band together in alliances and raise their voices, to prevent this regime from completely ruining the country and stand by our fellow citizens in Tripoli by rejecting the excessive violence and stigma against the city, in order to stop the authorities from destroying a country where freedom is one of its main pillars.