The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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July 27, 2015

The Daily Star - 3 wounded as anti trash protesters face off police, July 27, 2015

Mohammed Zaatari

About 500 protesters blocked a major highway linkingBeirut with south Lebanon for a second day Monday, triggering clashes with security forces that left three activists and one riot police officer wounded.

"Three protesters were wounded when security forces, using tear gas and firing shots in the air, tried to forcibly reopen the Jiyyeh highway," Barja Mayor Nashaat Hamiyeh told The Daily Star.

Hamiyeh has thrown his weight behind the protesters, who closed the vital highway in both directions Sunday to prevent apparent government plans to move trash piled on the streets of Beirut to the Iqlim al-Kharoub region south of the capital.

“We won’t back down and the road will remain closed until the interior minister and the government makes a promise in writing that they won’t use the Iqlim al-Kharoub region as a dumping ground,” he vowed.

As he spoke hundreds of protesters formed a human shield to protect their villages, arguing that they refused to suffer the same fate as that of the controversial Naameh landfill – which was closed on July 17, nearly 18 years after its initial opening.

Security forces managed to reopen the highway for a few minutes around 6 a.m., after which protesters brought in trucks and dumped sand into the road. Other demonstrators burned tires to cut off the road, while another group set up tents.

About three hours later, the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces (ISF) brought in reinforcements.

Police had diverted traffic Sunday to the old seaside road in an attempt to bypass the protests. The continuing diversion caused huge traffic jams in both directions Monday.

Motorists spent nearly four hours on the road Sunday due to the closure.

Sukleen, the company in charge of collecting trash from Beirut and Mount Lebanon, stopped working after the closure of the controversial Naameh landfill.

Mountains of garbage have piled up in and around Beirut since then, with politicians unable to find another site to dump the trash.

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