September 30, 2022
Middle East

Citizens rob banks for own savings: Lebanon’s economic crisis leads to desperate measures


/ Shows / Middle East matters Issued on: 21/09/2022 – 12:15


In Lebanon, most depositors have been locked out of their savings since a financial crisis took hold three years ago. Now some of those customers are taking matters into their own hands by holding up bank branches. One woman, Sali Hafez, has been celebrated as a hero after using what turned out to be a toy gun to demand the return of her savings to help pay for her sister’s medical treatment. Our Beirut correspondents Serge Berberi and Rawad Taha spoke to Bassam Sheikh Hussein, a man who was arrested after carrying out another of these so-called bank heists.

Syria’s Sednaya prison is the main centre used by the regime for the detention and enforced disappearance of political prisoners. Primitive mortuaries designed to preserve bodies in the absence of refrigerated morgues – so-called “salt rooms” – were also used to inflict psychological abuse there. These rooms are described in detail for the first time in an upcoming report from the Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison, an organisation that seeks justice for former detainees.

Finally, Lebanese dance group the Mayyas have come home to a heroes’ welcome, after becoming the first Arabic winners of “America’s Got Talent”, where they wowed audiences and the judges with their hypnotising routines. The all-female group had practised their dance moves in Lebanon despite fuel and electricity outages and say their country’s economic and political woes were never far from their minds.

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