Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun denounced Sunday the use of force against protesters, warning against attempts to exploit the “noble” movement to achieve political gains.
“We condemn the use of violence and live ammunition,” Aoun said over his official Twitter account.
He called for holding the security forces responsible for the violence accountable, stating that they should stand trial.
A demonstration organized by the YouReek campaign escalated Saturday into clashes between police and protesters, with security forces using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands who joined the rally in Downtown Beirut.
“We will not be lenient” in this matter, Aoun said in a tweet.
The FPM chief also took a swipe at Prime Minister Tammam Salam and the Cabinet, saying “the authority that doesn’t have legitimacy from the people and doesn’t abide by the legality of its decisions contributes to the spread of chaos.”
He praised the Lebanese youth who staged Saturday’s protest in a “peaceful and civilized manner,” noting that “they proved that they are aware and mature [enough] to demand their vital and just [human] rights.”