'One heart from north to south': Protesters form human chain across Lebanon

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By Lauren Chadwick  with Reuters
'One heart from north to south': Protesters form human chain across Lebanon
Copyright  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Demonstrators formed a human chain across Lebanon as part of ongoing anti-government protests.

They were attempting to form a chain across 170 kilometres along the Lebanese coast.

Calls for forming the human chain were posted on social media, AFP reported on Saturday.

"I decided to participate today because it aims to show that we are united, Lebanon from its north to its south, and this is the only goal from the human chain. We are one, one heart, from north to south," protester Rania Geagea Khawaja told Reuters.

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki, whose film about the slums of Beirut won the Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, joined the human chain.

"What is happening is proof of how peacefully we are protesting, when you see people all holding hands with one heart," she said.

Anti-government protests have endured for the past 11 days in Lebanon, which is suffering from an economic crisis.

Demonstrators have been calling for the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to be held accountable for endemic corruption.

Though the government has passed some reforms since the beginning of the protests, many people remain unconvinced.

Read more: How does Lebanon's government work? | Euronews Answers

Lebanon's debt is 150% of its GDP, making it one of the most indebted countries.

Corruption is also a huge problem, with the country ranked 138 of 180 states on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index in 2018.

Lebanon has also been destabilised by an influx of over one million Syrian refugees.

Solidarity demonstrations from Lebanese living abroad have also taken place across the world.