In pictures: Lebanon protests resurge as economy collapses
Since October, Lebanese protesters have taken to the streets to denounce government corruption and mismanagement. While the coronavirus pandemic led to a halt in demonstrations, the past two weeks have seen a resurgence in contestation as the country’s economic situation has taken a sharp turn for the worse.
On 21 April, hundreds participated in a protest convoy in the capital Beirut, sitting on the roofs of their cars, waving flags and singing in protest of government corruption and failure to provide adequate services or manage the economic situation (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
Since the protests began in October, the Lebanese pound has plummeted from 1,500 (LBP) to the dollar to 4,000 (LBP). The Lebanese government now estimates that 75 percent of the population is in need of aid.
The dire situation has generated a lot of despair and frustration, including in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon's poorest city. On 28 April, a van was set on fire in front of the Sultan Abdul Hamid clock tower (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
The already tense situation has only become worse as Lebanese forces have repressed the demonstrations heavily - leading to the death of 26-year-old demonstrator Fawaz Fouad Samman in Tripoli on 27 April, after being shot by soldiers.
In this photo taken on 28 April, Lebanese soldiers are seen marching down Abdul Hamid Karameh Street in Tripoli as smoke from a burning bank billows behind them (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
A man in civilian clothing with a handgun supports soldiers violently tackling a protester to the ground in Tripoli on 28 April, during a protest denouncing Samman’s killing.
"Our government doesn't care about citizens, only about stealing our money," Khaled Dilaty, a 29-year-old resident of Tripoli, told Middle East Eye. Lamenting sectarian issues and a divided nation, he said: "After 30 years of their stealing, we are a reservoir of poverty. It is impossible now for Lebanon not to collapse" (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
A man hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet is carried to the Lebanese Red Cross for treatment in Tripoli on 28 April (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
Protesters break windows of an Arab Bank branch in Tripoli on 28 April. While the Lebanese currency has collapsed, banks have for months implemented harsh restrictions on cash withdrawals - putting them in the crosshairs of demonstrators accusing them of preventing the average Lebanese citizen from accessing their own money (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)
On May Day, protesters temporarily closed the Ring, a major Beirut artery. "Shame on you for deserting the people to protect the banks," one demonstrator shouted at security forces as he held a sign reading: "Oh thieves, lift your hands off the judiciary" (MEE/Elizabeth Fitt)