Activists will gather outside the Ministry of Justice at 6:00 p.m. today to protest the behavior of Kataeb bloc MP Nadim Gemayel's bodyguards who on Friday night harassed and assaulted members of the feminist NGO, Nasawiya. A day later, one of his bodyguards also ran over a protester in front of the Gemmayzeh police station.
Nidal Ayyoub spent the night in intensive care after being run over. According to Nasawiya spokesperson Farah Salka, Ayyoub will press charges against Rami Masaad, Gemayel's bodyguard who "pointed guns at [activists'] heads and beat or assaulted others in front of our offices on Friday."
On Friday night, Gemayel went for dinner at the newly opened Mar Mikhael restaurant, Bar Tartine. His security team barged into Nasawiya's offices located nearby and demanded the activists stop taking photos. They were holding a farewell party for a departing member.
On Saturday, four men and two women went down to the Gemmayzeh police station to file charges against the offenders. Instead, the police arrested the men. “We asked why we were being released (Nadine Moawad and I) and the policemen joked that they never heard of someone refusing to be released,” Salka told Beirut.com.
“Our friend’s phones were taken from them and they were kept in a jail downstairs, not detained, not awaiting, just jailed!” she adds.
Meanwhile, says Salka, “While our friends were being detained for no legal crime, we saw Masaad leaving freely as if nothing happened. We had to stop this”.
"After he ran us over and after local shop owners and Gemmayzeh citizens rallied to testify against what they saw happening in front of the police station, Masaad stepped out of his car and went back to the station." Salka concludes: “It wasn’t because he was guilty; it was just another way to spare him the trouble until we left." Masaad was reportedly never charged with a crime.
Nidal Ayyoub in the emergency room on Saturday. Photo via Facebook