Hundreds Protest Against New Taxes in Sidon, Lebanon

Protests erupted across Lebanon on October 17 against proposed economic reform that would introduce new taxes on goods and services such as tobacco and calls made via WhatsApp, according to reports.

Lebanon’s telecommunications minister backtracked on the WhatsApp tax on Thursday night in a tweet, saying: “At the request of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the idea of placing a 20 cents fee on Internet communications, especially WhatsApp will be withdrawn, and this will no longer be considered or considered at the Cabinet table at all, and the services will remain available as they were.”

Protesters clashed with police in Beirut and other cities across the nation, building roadblocks and lighting fires in the streets, according to news reports.

Videos from Sidon, Lebanon’s third-largest city, show crowds singing the national anthem and lighting flares outside a shopping center. Credit: Hisham A. Dalibalta via Storyful