Five individuals were arrested on Saturday night after they were seen tearing down a poster belonging to the Free Patriotic Movement - a political party formed by current Lebanese President Michel Aoun - outside an office in Hammana, Baabda.
The group, which included three minors aged 12 and 15, was let go by Lebanese authorities on Sunday morning.
"The five youths were released at 2:30 a.m. after they were heard in the presence of a volunteering lawyer," announced the committee of defense lawyers representing detainees during Lebanon's revolution.
Authorities steeped to a new low in their crackdown on protesters with the recent arrests, leaving Lebanese people outraged over the incident. The latter deemed the move a violation of international laws given that three of those detained are minors.
A video of the boys in action was removed from social media as it is illegal to publicize the identities of minors in Lebanon.
The detainees' families said the boys were taken into custody at 6 p.m. by Army Intelligence, then were handed over to the Hammana police station after being taken to the military police. However, the Lebanese Army issued a statement, explaining that the group was initially arrested by Hammana municipal police then handed over to Army Intelligence.
The boys were transferred from one department to another before they were finally released.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Hammana's Deputy Mayor Salim Antoine Bou Kanj confirmed that the five individuals were arrested by municipal police who saw them climb a fence and tear down the banner.
"We alerted Army Intelligence and the [Internal Security Forces] and we meanwhile kept them at the municipality. ... It is what we normally do," he said.
"[Army] Intelligence then came and took them then handed them over to the Hammana [ISF] police. [Army] Intelligence has been interfering a lot lately," Bou Kanj added.
Despite the repeated reminders that the revolution is peaceful, authorities carry on with their arrests
A handful of citizens have faced persecution by authorities; most of those detained were released within 48 hours of being taken into custody but reported being beaten by police.
In contrast, no action has been taken against those who are targeting protesters. Sites of protest including Beirut's Martyrs' Square have witnessed several acts of destruction by politically affiliated people since the uprising started on Oct. 17.
Late last month, Amal Movement and Hezbollah supporters attacked the square in a bid to scare away people. They destroyed tents and set fire to a few set-ups and props. On early Monday morning, supporters of those very same groups clashed with demonstrators, yet again.
On Independence Day (Nov. 22), a large cut-out of a closed fist with the word "revolution" printed on it was set on fire by unknown individuals but was later replaced by protesters. No arrests were made in any cases involving attacks on protesters or their properties.
Lebanon's revolution remains for the most part unscathed
On Oct.17, people in Lebanon took to the streets to demand their fundamental rights and call out the government's failure to fulfill its most basic obligations. What started as a spontaneous demonstration developed into a nationwide uprising that has witnessed a number of historic milestones.
The revolution achieved its first major victory 13 days in, when Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, citing a "dead-end" and the need for a "positive shock." Two weeks after that, the country witnessed another win with the election of an independent candidate for the presidency of the Beirut Bar Association. Melhem Khalaf won with 2,341 votes, though opponent Nader Gaspard was politically supported.
While some, including the country's president, have claimed the movement lacks a unified list of demands, protesters have been vocal about the purpose of their movement from the very start.
Activists have emphasized that their uprising aims to tackle issues such as poverty, high prices versus low minimum wage, unemployment, incompetent public education institutes, misappropriation of public funds, and fatally expensive healthcare services.