BEIRUT (AP) – Khaldoun Jaber was taking part in an anti-government protest near the presidential palace outside Beirut last November when several Lebanese intelligence officers in plainclothes approached and forcibly took him away.
The demonstration was part of a wave of protests sweeping Lebanon against corruption and misrule by a group of politicians who have monopolized power since the country’s civil war ended three decades ago.
Jaber didn’t know it then, but Lebanese security forces targeted him because of his social media posts criticizing President Michel Aoun. What followed were 48 harrowing hours of detention during which security officers interrogated him and subjected him to physical abuse, before letting him go.
“I was beaten, harmed psychologically and morally,” Jaber said. “Three of my teeth were broken and I lost 70% of my hearing in my left ear.”
“I am still traumatized,” he added.
A year after mass protests roiled Lebanon, dozens of protesters are being tried before military courts,