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Conflict Incident Report

In full daylight, a man brutally assaults two Kenyans in Bourj Hammoud

Date of incident: 
June 17, 2018
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians
Migrant Domestic Worker

A video, published on the Facebook page of "Weyn el dawle" (where is the state), and in which we can see a man violently catch two women by the hair and hit them while they are down on a street of Bourj Hammoud, in the suburbs of Beirut, provokes outrage, since Wednesday, on social networks, Internet users and organizations denouncing a "racist crime". According to a statement issued by the Internal Security Forces on Wednesday, the attacker, who belongs to the army, drove his vehicle on the two Kenyan women and failed to overthrow them. As the two women stood up against the driver, the man got out of his vehicle and started hitting them, throwing them to the ground. It was only after long minutes that passersby intervened to prevent the man from continuing to hit the two victims.
In their testimony, which the Anti-Racism Movement (ARM) organization has seen, the two Kenyans claimed that their attacker voluntarily directed his car in their direction. When asked why he was attacking them, the man said, "I'm in my country, I'm free to do what I want." It is the victims who are currently in prison, according to the MRA. Incarceration that would be linked to the fact that the papers of the two Kenyans are not in order. Contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour in the evening, the Justice Minister, Salim Jreissati, claimed that the suspect was arrested.

Only on June 22, the Lebanese Army issued a clarification denying details of the reports: “The two women who were drunk assaulted an Army member who was with his wife, and hit him with a bottle on his head,” the statement said. “This prompted one of the civilians [present at the scene] to interfere and hit the two women.” The Army added that the relevant security agencies are investigating the matter, announcing that the civilian who intervened and attacked the women was detained by Military Police.

Primary category: 
Gender Based Violence [inc. sexual violence]
Secondary Category: 
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Conflicts of social discrimination
Violent and unjust treatment of different categories of people and individuals based on race, age, gender or sexuality, committed by the State, groups and individuals, related to a lack of protection and rights, inefficiency of the Justice system and persisting social and economic vulnerabilities.
Classification of conflict(secondary):
Individual acts of violence
Violent incidents which do not have a specific or a known political agenda but are caused by the general proliferation of weapons, of trained and untrained soldiers or militants, by the general inefficiency of the Justice system, and past-traditions and histories of violence within society.