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Conflict Incident Report

Families of murder victims demand weapon control

Date of incident: 
June 10, 2017
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians

Families of murder victims Saturday demanded authorities to curb the spread of arms in Lebanon and calling on the judiciary to conduct swift and fair trials.

The families of 17 murder victims rallied in Beirut's Martyrs' Square, where each gave a brief testimonial.

The relatives sought to raise the voice against what they deemed as "unjust" crimes that took the lives of their beloved ones.

"If you [the state] can’t protect us, impose a curfew," said the mother of 20-years-old Eliane Saftali, who was killed at north Lebanon nightclub in Kaslik in 2015.

"Close nightclubs, and let us protect ourselves in our homes."

"To Justice Minister Salim Jreissati, don't forget about me," a placard lifted by a protester said.

"You burned our hearts," another sign read.

"Erect security checkpoints! We are already overwhelmed with trash!," a protester demanded.

The daughter of Talal al-Awad, who "was killed over a cup of Nescafe" in the east Lebanon town of Qubb Elias was also present.

"I ask the president [Michel Aoun], prime minister [Saad Hariri], and speaker [Nabih Berri]; what did we do to deserve this?," she asked as her eyes filled with tears.

The families rallied under the slogan "For All Who Have Gone."

The protesters distributed white roses as a symbol of peace, carrying the pictures of the victims.

"The state needs to take action on the ground, and the judiciary needs to do its job," the wife of George al-Reef said.

"The first thing it needs to do is harshen its penalties."

George al-Reef was brutally stabbed in broad daylight in Beirut's Gemmayze neighborhood by Tarek Yateem in July 2015.

At least 10 bystanders were present during the incident.

Another mother present called the for the execution of the gunman behind her son's murder.

Hussein, a relative of eight-year-old Lamis Naqqoush who was shot in Baalbeck, condemned the state for not taking action.

"You said that you will increase security presence, but last night we kept hearing bullets and RPGs until 4 a.m.," he said. "Whether you like it or not, whoever fires a bullet at us in Baalbeck, we will not leave."

Journalist May Chidiac attended in solidarity with the families, and called on the government to tighten regulations to obtain gun licenses.

She said that some thugs had obtained a license to carry arms. "We need tougher regulations."

The most recent murder case documented was of engineering student Roy Hamoush.

He was killed as he was driving home on his 24th birthday with a friend when a conflict erupted between them and a BMW with tinted windows on the Jal al-Dib highway.

Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Policy conflicts
Conflicts associated with political decisions, government or state policies regarding matters of public concern, such as debates concerning law reforms, electoral laws, and protests of the government’s political decisions, among others.