BEIRUT — A scuffle broke out on Tuesday in a branch of the Crédit Libanais bank in Corniche al-Nahr, Beirut, during an action led by a depositor, accompanied by activists, to recover his blocked savings from the bank, the Cry of the Depositors group confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour.
The association confirmed that the depositor, Simon Barrad, was not armed.
“The security staff of the bank allowed four people to enter the premises to negotiate, but suddenly, a member of the same security tried to attack with a knife the president of the Cry of the Depositors, Alaa Khorshid, wounding him and then shoved him," the same source added.
Following this incident, many people left the bank to transport Khorchid to a hospital, causing the interruption of negotiations between the depositor and the bank.
As for the depositor, “his wife has cancer, and he has been asking the bank for help for three months without any response," says the same source from the Cry of the Depositors, adding that Barrad is asking for $10,000 of his $100,000 savings.
Lawsuits and escalation
Lawyer and activist Rami Ollaik, founder of the Mouttahidoun collective, who was also on the scene, told L'Orient-Le Jour that "legal action will be taken" against the bank because of the incident and the assault that Khorchid allegedly suffered. "There will be an escalation in the next actions," he also promised.
Crédit Libanais has not, for the moment, responded to requests for comment from L'Orient-Le Jour.
At the end of last November, another branch of Crédit Libanais, in Chehim, was the object of a depositor's action, and at the beginning of November, a branch of the same bank in Hazmieh was robbed. Four people — including Ollaik — were arrested following this incident and then released one by one in the following weeks.