Rear View – Lebanon in review (1 November 2020)
26 OCT: State Council Reinforces Kafala System
After calls to end the Kafala System, a set of laws, policies and customs under which migrant domestic workers in Lebanon work under, the law was amended to allow workers to end their contracts and guarantee them basic rights including time off and fair remuneration. The Lebanese State Shura Council issued a decision halting the implementation of the standard unified labor contract for the workers issued by the Labor Ministry on 4 September 2020. The Syndicate of Owners of Recruitment Agencies Lebanon (SORAL) has been demanding “to stop the implementation and annulment of the contract”.
28 Oct: Beirut Blast Victims Demand Accountability
Families of Beirut blast victims are continuing to demand justice and that governing parties be held accountable for the disastrous explosion, including former and current heads of security systems, presidents and ministers.
In a press conference on Wednesday, the bereaved rejected findings that alluded to negligence, chance or fate and rejected scapegoating of lower level managers and officials.
28 Oct: Hezbollah Members Attack Télé Liban Crew
Télé Liban correspondent Nayla Shahwan was attacked by three men who brake her filming equipment, confiscated her phone, and pushed her out of the area while covering the second round of negotiations on Naqoura’s border demarcations even though she had received Lebanese Army permission. Shahwan said the men, dressed in civilian clothes, had said they belonged to a “particular” party. Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad condemned what happened, calling on security services to investigate the situation and “preserve media personnel security.”
28 Oct: 679 Criminal Lawsuits Filed
679 Criminal lawsuits filed by the victims’ families and those affected by the Beirut Port explosion. These lawsuits are part of the 1,400 cases the Crisis unit of the Beirut Bar Association is handling. The unit was created by the association to defend the rights of the Blast’s victims. The association President Melhem Khalaf and volunteering lawyers have submitted the first round of these cases to the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation.
30 Oct: Riots Outside French Embassy
Members of fundamentalist Sunni political group, Hezb at-Tahrir, protested outside the French Embassy, denouncing the reemergence of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons. The protests came one day after the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
30 Oct: Lebanon Brakes COVID-19 Record
Lebanon repeatedly broke its daily coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers record, three days in a row with the latest count reported by the Health Ministry reaching almost 2,000 cases. On October 29th, Lebanon had 77,778 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 38,045 of which are active, considering that there have been 39,123 full recoveries and 610 deaths recorded by the Health Ministry.
1 NOV: Swiss Insurer allocates $222 Million For Blast Victims
The Zurich-based Swiss Re reinsurance company has established a $222-million reserve to pay for its share of the claims resulting from the explosion that decimated Beirut in August. Swiss Re, which is the world’s second-largest reinsurer, said in its third-quarter 2020 earnings statement that the Beirut insurance claims dominated its man-made losses for the first 9 months of the current year.
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