World

Ahead of rally, rights group calls on Lebanon authorities to investigate dispersal of protests

  • Lebanese activists chant slogans during a march against the trash crisis and government corruption in Beirut streets, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Lebanese activists chant slogans during a march against the trash crisis and government corruption in Beirut streets, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lebanese riot policemen pass under barbed wire barriers, as they start deploying around the government building where anti-government protesters hold their daily demonstrations, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The London-based rights group Amnesty is calling on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse rallies protesting the government failure to deal with garbage pilling in the streets. The statement comes ahead of a major rally planned in Beirut Saturday amid worries it would also descend into clashes. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese riot policemen pass under barbed wire barriers, as they start deploying around the government building where anti-government protesters hold their daily demonstrations, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The London-based rights group Amnesty is calling on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse rallies protesting the government failure to deal with garbage pilling in the streets. The statement comes ahead of a major rally planned in Beirut Saturday amid worries it would also descend into clashes. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Lebanese riot policeman, background, holds up a barbed wire barrier to help his colleague pass under it, as they start deploying around the government building where anti-government protesters hold their daily demonstrations, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The London-based rights group Amnesty is calling on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse rallies protesting the government failure to deal with garbage piling up in the streets. The statement comes ahead of a major rally planned in Beirut Saturday amid worries it would also descend into clashes. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    A Lebanese riot policeman, background, holds up a barbed wire barrier to help his colleague pass under it, as they start deploying around the government building where anti-government protesters hold their daily demonstrations, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. The London-based rights group Amnesty is calling on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse rallies protesting the government failure to deal with garbage piling up in the streets. The statement comes ahead of a major rally planned in Beirut Saturday amid worries it would also descend into clashes. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

The London-based rights group Amnesty International is calling on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse rallies protesting the government failure to deal with garbage piling in the streets.

The statement comes ahead of a major rally planned in Beirut on Saturday amid worries it would also descend into clashes.

Two rallies last weekend outside the government offices drew up to 20,000 people. Amnesty said security forces fired live rounds, used rubber bullets and hurled stones or beat protesters, leaving 59 people hospitalized.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk acknowledged there were "mistakes" that led to the excessive use of force and said an investigation was under way.