Clashes earlier in the week between the Lebanese army and hardliner Sunni Sheikh Ahmad Al-Assir supporters ended with Assir's escape and 17 soldiers dead. Additionally, more than 40 people were reportedly killed on Assir's side.

While politicians have been rallying around nationalistic rhetoric in full support of the army since the clashes subsided late Tuesday, a video has surfaced on YouTube showing army members grouped around an unarmed civilian, who identifies himself as an Assir supporter, as they verbally harass and beat the man.

For those of you who don't understand Arabic, here's a translation of what goes down:

A man, who appears to be an officer shouts to one of the solders: “Hassan, leave this place right now." Hassan is visibly angry and the implication is that he wants to hurt the man on the ground. Others can be heard in the background saying, "let him speak.”

The civilian starts telling his story. He's asked if he worked as a guard for Assir and he confirms he did. The civilian goes on to describe exactly what his job at the Bilal Bin Rabah mosque is.

Civilian: “I've been here since 2005 and I work in the mosque, I’m going to be honest with you.”

Officer: “How much did he [Assir] pay you?”

Civilian: “Not a dime. I was interrogated a couple days ago and was asked if I was armed. I wasn't. That’s when they started beating me up and insulting me to make me say that I had weapons and I kept swearing that I don’t have any.”

Officer: “Ok, we’re done with that."

Another soldier then asks: “How long have you been with Assir exactly?”

Civilian: “I’ve been working here since 2005."

Soldier: “Where were you when the battle started?”

Civilian: “In Nabatiyeh(South Lebanon). I was there yesterday. I haven’t been to work today, but yesterday I was in Nabatiyeh working for the engineer, Habib Ghaddar, and another engineer named Hassan.”

Officer: "How much did he pay you again {referring to Assir]"?

Civilian:“Not a dime.”

Officer: “You must have done this because you love him, then?”

Voices in the background: "He’s a respectable man, why not love him?” [sarcastically referring to Assir]. Others can be heard shouting, “Don’t touch him guys.”

Another soldier asks: “Where is Assir now? Answer us without lying.”

Civilian: “I’ll answer.”

Soldier: ”Do you love him or not?”

Civilian: “Now that all this happened, I don't anymore.”

Soldier:“He died” [referring to Assir].

Civilian: “God’s mercy be upon him.”

Voices in the background: “Liar. You’re a liar.”

Officer addressing the soldiers: “Guys, handcuff him and don’t you dare hit him or I’ll hit you.”

The soldiers then joke about whether they’re allowed to touch him with their feet instead. They then call upon Hassan, and another soldier who start kicking the civilian. Other men join in.

The soldiers laugh and one of the guys videotaping the incident leans in and hits the civilian on the head. A voice in the background calls for the video recording to be turned off as the group of soldiers begin beating the civilian while the officer looks on.

The video ends with the officer holding the soldiers back as we see the civilian lying on the floor.

Post Edit:

According to Naharnet, "The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, General Jean Qahwaji, has just ordered a major investigation" into the abuse incident, a military source told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Military source to AFP: Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji ordered probing an amateur video that shows several troops kicking and humiliating an arrested man, probably linked to cleric al-Asir, during an interrogation.

Sandra Arslanian on Jun 27, 2013 via web
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although am against the bastard aseer and his followers and they deserve more than this , but still this man should not be humiliated this way.. no one knows if he's being talking honestly. ? if not then hell with him he deserves more

Hassan Ali Jaber on Jun 27, 2013 via web
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"While politicians have been rallying around nationalistic rhetoric in full support of the army." And its good that they did. Otherwise, you would have been writing about the start of the civil war instead of posting this video. There is a difference between isolated occurrences - which need to be reported and dealt with, and the authors punished, and the army as a whole, its role and importance in keeping lebanon from falling apart totally. of course it is enraging to see such things, and perpetrators shld be punished, but it is wrong to tarnish the overall image of the army based on this, for the only thing that is still standing in this country and is still a symbol of unity is the army. Break it, and you would have broken lebanon altogether.

Sandra Arslanian on Jun 27, 2013 via web