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Conflict Incident Report
Drivers attempt to storm TV studio during Uber debate
A clash between Uber and taxi drivers broke out outside a Beirut TV station at night as the groups attempted to storm local channel Al-Jadeed’s studios during a live broadcast debate on Uber’s operations in Lebanon. The incident took place during the broadcast of Tony Khalife’s prime-time TV show “Eye to Eye.”
The show featured a heated debate between Fadi al-Fariq, a driver with the popular ride-hailing app Uber, Charles Bou Hard, owner of Charles Taxi and president of the taxi company owners’ union, and Abdel-Hafiz al-Qaisi of the Transportation Ministry. It was just a small part of the wider debate on Uber that has played out across the country’s media over the last week following the murder of British national Rebecca Dykes by a registered Uber driver.
A crowd gathered outside the Al-Jadeed studios while the debate was taking place, comprised of two factions: one of Uber Drivers, the other of Charlie Taxi drivers. Clashes broke out, although sources from Al-Jadeed TV told The Daily Star that frustrations were directed at the two sides, rather than against studio staff. A statement from Al-Jadeed clarified that reports studio staff had been attacked were untrue.