Police raze Beirut fishermen homes
Reclaim the Sea has been following closely the developments around the story of the Dalieh, the last section of the seashore in Beirut which has not been privatized. Only a few days ago, RTS re-posted the story of the fishermen of Raouché and the difficulties they face as there is a big push for the development of the Dalieh. On Saturday, bulldozers backed by a police force razed the makeshift housing units used by these fishers and their families. Here is the complete article as published in the dailystar:
BEIRUT: Bulldozers backed by a police force Saturday razed makeshift housing units used by fishermen and their families on a Beirut sea property which real estate developers hope to use for luxury projects.
“They arrived at 4:00 a.m., handcuffed the men, detained them and then beat them on their heads,” a woman shouted as television news crews filmed the scene near the Raouche sea rock.
“Then the bulldozers came and destroyed our homes,” she added.
Residents revealed bruises and scars they said were caused during the scuffle with police.
Images from the scene showed the houses had been reduced to rubble in the surprise raids. The families complained they no longer had shelter.
The fishermen for years have been resisting attempts to oust them from the area, saying they have been based there for decades, and vowing not to surrender the land to developers.
The Environment Ministry last month announced that it had submitted a draft law that could potentially turn Raouche into a protected site.
If passed, the draft law, submitted to the Shura Council on March 17, would force all development projects in the areas surrounding Raouche to gain approval from the Environment Ministry.