Lebanon News

Salam apologizes after guards attack reporters

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, right, leaves the Grand Serail after a meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam, left, in Beirut, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam apologized for an assault by his guards on reporters outside Dar al-Fatwa Sunday, calling for a full investigation into the incident.

Salam’s guards battered reporters and cameramen outside Dar al-Fatwa, where a new grand mufti was being elected. Journalist Abdel-Rahman Orabi was severely beaten, while one of the guards put a gun to the head of Hasan Shaaban, The Daily Star’s photographer.

“During the process of electing the grand mufti in Dar Al-Fatwa today a number of media colleagues where shoved while doing their professional duty in an altercation [that erupted] with the prime minister’s guard, and the incident evolved in to an unfortunate fist fight with an outcome that left one journalist injured and bruised,” a statement from Salam’s office said. “The media office regrets the incident.”

Salam also called for Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to launch an investigation into the incident, the statement said.

Shortly afterward, the Internal Security Forces issued a statement saying that “the director general of the Internal Security Forces initiated investigations into the incident that happened in front of Dar Al-Fatwa and the result will be announced later.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 11, 2014, on page 3.




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