Tears for Tears…
The weird relationship between "public order" and "hunting!"
August 17, 2020


On the morning of August 9, 2020, three unidentified security personnel with unknown institutional affiliations intercepted two of our colleagues from the UMAM Documentation and Research team (one male and one female). Our colleagues were collecting, for documentation purposes, the projectile remnants that were used against protestors in Martyrs' Square and its surrounding area on August 8, 2020. They were rudely interrogated on site about the purpose of gathering these remnants and their affiliation before being released and forbidden from continuing the collection process. Despite seizing what our two colleagues had collected, other teams had already documented traces of the smoking guns!

Among the items that we have been able to gather from the site of the protests, notably Martyrs' Square and its surroundings, are various cardboard boxes, which indicate that the tear gas grenades used by the "Forces de Sécurité Intérieures" (Internal Security Forces) were manufactured by two French companies: Nobel Sport and Alsetex. Interestingly, the bombs produced by Nobel Sport have been exported to Lebanon via a Lebanese company, Brescia Middle East, which claims on its website to be "specialized in importing and exporting hunting guns and related ammunition."

As a first follow up step, UMAM D&R addressed the two companies, via registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, requesting them to make public two critical pieces of information. The first is the nature of the contractual framework within which they are providing this material to the Internal Security Forces—i.e., as part of bilateral security assistance provided by France or, alternatively, as a purely commercial, remunerative transaction that transpired via a procurement process initiated and undertaken by the Lebanese government. The letters addressed to Nobel Sport and Alsetex also request these respective companies to render public the chemical composition of these ammunitions.

While UMAM D&R will keep investigating and trying to understand the mechanisms ruling the cooperation between the Lebanese law enforcement forces and their provider, it shares below the above-mentioned correspondence and requests anyone who may have more information or is interested to join efforts in leading this investigation to contact it.  

TO BE FOLLOWED!
 
Letter to Nobel Sport (English version)
Letter to Nobel Sport (French version)
Letter to Alsetex (French version)

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Tears for Tears - Video clip produced by UMAM D&R about the interception of its team (English version)
Tears for Tears - Video clip produced by UMAM D&R about the interception of its team (Arabic version)
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