Bassam Sheikh Hussein received support from several protesters as he left the bank where six people were being held hostage BeirutIn the LebanonThis Thursday (11). The man demanded the Federal Bank to allow him to withdraw his savings from the account frozen by the Lebanese government due to the economic crisis that has afflicted the country since 2019.
Authorities say Hussain, 42, entered the bank armed with a can of petrol and threatened to set himself on fire unless he was allowed to withdraw his money. “[Ele] “What he had to do,” Maryam Shahadi, the Lebanese wife, told reporters outside the bank branch.
Dina Abu Zour, a lawyer and activist representing Hussein’s family, explained that the Lebanese initially wanted to withdraw all his savings from the bank, about $210,000. But, after hours of negotiations, the man accepted an offer from the foundation, which handed over 35 thousand US dollars to his brother.
Lebanese soldiers on the streets of Beirut – Photo: Hussein Mulla/Associated Press
According to Lebanese relatives, he needed money to pay for his father’s medical expenses and other bills. “My brother is not a scoundrel. He is a decent man. He takes what he has out of his pocket to give to others,” Hussain’s brother Atif said outside the bank during the confrontation.
Hussein was taken to the Information Intelligence Service of the General Directorate of Police, where, according to officials, the Minister of Interior was waiting for him. Ramy Alak, a lawyer for Lebanon, said the police had promised Hussein’s release.
“In our experience, there is no trust,” Olek said. “They will make excuses that it is too late to keep him. We will go to the police station to press for his release, as they promised, or we will act.”
Civilians in front of Lebanese police during a demonstration in Lebanon – Photo: Hussein Mulla/Associated Press
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the bank as the situation developed. Many chanted against the Lebanese government and banks, hoping the gunman would get his money. Some spectators praised him as a hero.
“No one will say he did the wrong thing,” Ahmed Yattom, who was close to the Fed, told The Guardian. “Desperate people do desperate things. We all like him, even soldiers and riot police love him.”
Hussein received support from protesters gathered around the bank’s branch in Beirut – Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir
Since 2019, Lebanon has experienced the worst economic crisis in its modern history. Three-quarters of the population lives in poverty, and the Lebanese pound has depreciated by more than 90% against the US dollar.
Abu said: “What led us to this situation is the failure of the state to solve this economic crisis and the procedures of the banks and the central bank, where people can only recover part of their own money, as if it were a weekly grant.” False from the Union of depositors and one of the demonstrators. “And that prompted people to take matters into their own hands.”
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