Malek al-Shamma, a trained member of the Internal Security Forces, could not have imagined, even in the worst, most miserable and painful scenario, that his life would end in such an absurd way. And “Malik”, in his forties, who died of a stroke at his workplace in Tripoli about a month ago, affected by his financial difficulties in addition to the pressure of hard work, which is akin to forced labor, so to speak, and his refusal of the necessary and urgent treatment at the time, on account of the delay of the ambulance for two hours.. he surrendered.For his afflicted and miserable reality.
At the same time, today, Staff Sergeant Mahmoud Itawi is spending his sick leave, which lasted about ten months, in search of sources to cover the medical expenses of his mother, who is suffering from cancer, or enough money to support himself and his family, who are currently living on the edge of poverty in a house where there is nothing left of his furniture to use or sell in the house. The case of Itawi.
Two stories whose owners consume grief as their daily bread. Two members of the Internal Security Forces (gendarmerie) and thousands of retired and active duty military on their way, protesting, screaming in vain, committing suicide and in most cases sudden and wanton death occupy the front of the stage as a dark scene repeats itself in the horrifying game of collapse. And with the same desperate spin in a vicious circle of promises and hopes, these people wade into the coma of their state and their general direction, their economic crises and the erosion of the foundations of social protection, such as insurance illness and the right to education. And if the demands are only intuitive rights and needs, those concerned and those responsible for this vital and fateful file are always absent with their ambiguous impotence, their scandalous corruption and their intolerable prejudices.
Sudden health symptoms and suicide
In his interview with Al-Modon, Abdullah Al-Shama, the brother of the deceased qualified man (44 years old, Lebanese), recounts the circumstances of his brother’s sudden death saying: “My brother left his house early to go to his place of work. in Tripoli, Al-Tal police station, and shortly after his arrival he suffered a stroke. Amid attempts by his colleagues to call a Red Cross-affiliated ambulance, my brother died shortly thereafter and was taken to hospital as a dead body. The circumstances of the injury resulted from the enormous pressure he was carrying, financial difficulties on the one hand, and work pressure on the other. My graduate brother, who was earning before the crisis, about one thousand three hundred dollars, he now earns about $40 at the most, while the necessities of life greatly exceed this amount, such as the rent for the house, which has crossed the two hundred dollar threshold, in addition to medication for her son who suffers from a brain disease, whose bill is over 300 dollars a month, not including insurance, food, and luckily my brother was on fuel allowance to get from his home to his workplace.
“When he died, we found around 70,000 Lebanese Pounds (less than two dollars) in his wallet. My brother died of violence and despair, as did dozens in the Internal Security Forces throughout the years of crisis. So far, his children are living in great grief and shock, while his family waits for his pension and racing allowances to be paid. We have not yet heard from the Management on this matter. My brother, the security guard who served the Lebanese state for about 24 years, we tried during his memorial ceremonies to collect money from some of us for his burial. Today is to apply the law and may the Lebanese state have mercy on those whose situation we are not responsible for Al-Harraj except her, it is unfortunate that we die in this random way,” Al-Shamma adds.
The causes of sudden deaths among security personnel are now mainly attributed to work pressure and their stark social crisis hitting the impoverished elements, whose monthly pensions have shrunk at an exponential rate of collapse. After nearly four and a half years of halting recruitment in the military sons, in direct connection with the text of the 2019 finance law which stopped demobilization, there are around thirty thousand security agents, between non-commissioned officers and officers , most of whom are elderly and elderly, who are forcibly detained as part of their service. This reality has imposed psychological struggles and frustrations by the complete obstruction of the horizon. Some of them tried to escape, which reached thousands of cases in recent years, and others found no way to live except with their meager pension, so they reluctantly stayed in the service framework. Waiting for a breakthrough or death at worst.
Lawyer Rashid Tabbal, former first graduate of the Internal Security Forces, the legal agent for the family of the deceased qualified, indicated that they follow the Shamma case at the judicial level and the procedures for compensation that his family will receive. Tabbal said, “Members of the Internal Security Forces are experiencing a real crisis that we do not see today in other security agencies. Instead of real and unconventional treatment, the political system and the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces still pursue a policy of prejudice and procrastination.While thousands of cases of flight from the establishment have been recorded, in addition to the hundreds of personnel who daily refrain from returning to their centers, there are dozens cases of suicide and death from heart attacks and strokes resulting from the pressures of life Most hospitals stopped receiving staff for many months due to the refusal of the management to pay the fees for their treatment on the one hand, and because of the low fees approved by the Management on the other hand, and the majority of private schools do not accept children of members in management’s delay in paying school dues, not to mention the salary crisis, and despite our filing of legal complaints with the State Shura Council on behalf of 250 retired colleagues, and our cooperation with a number of service members To assert our rights, the Directorate is always slow to enforce the laws, and it seems that the first law enforcement official has given up and Obey him publicly and with the right of his members in the first place . »
Al-Tabball added: “Fleeing the service is the only and last solution left for some members of the Internal Security Forces to escape what has come to be called ‘forced labour’. Despite the absolute secrecy of the management on this issue, the member today prohibited from working in another place, despite the loss of value. “However, most staff have recently changed to part-time jobs. Requests for demobilization have been rejected for more than 3 years, despite many volunteer contracts expiring.”
Impoverishment has reached the point of selling furniture
Mahmoud Itawi, the first sergeant of the security forces, does not hide his inability today to raise enough money to live with dignity and provide for his mother’s health needs. Itawi, who sold all the furniture in her house to secure her treatment costs, said in her interview with Al-Modon: “I tried to contact several associations to help me, but the help was not forthcoming. the height of my needs. My only son, whom I started to send to public school because of my financial situation, I regret it.” His condition, which is a child who lives with a failing diet. Sometimes I am not able to buy food for my family, when meat and dairy became luxuries that we got rid of for a while than what we are experiencing today. My salary today is not equal to 30 dollars without the help that the Directorate has recently provided.It is not even enough to pay the rent of the house in Tripoli, nor even the subscription to electricity or the purchase of food.
In his interview with Al-Modon, the first-qualified retiree, Shafie Al-Ayoubi, explains that Itawi is not the only one to experience this grievance. Thousands more are on the verge of madness. The elements are in a critical situation and despite all the demands and invitations, since the beginning of the crisis and before it, we always demand at least justice. Equipping us with our rights for which we have worked our years of life. While the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces is still absent from the audience, and both staff and retirees are suffocating under the repercussions of the crisis: the crisis of corruption, nepotism and bureaucracy, and the absence of good governance in an old and worn-out- meanwhile, as the tumor of outrageous politicization and infighting over power and money eats away at its depths, and the one civil servant doesn’t care about the thousands of activists and of their families, and is preoccupied with its political struggles.
A security source justified this reality to Al-Modon by saying, “The reason for the crisis is that the budget of the Internal Security Forces has been going on for many years and is still the same, despite the fact that many personnel have considerably increases. A general security crisis: exhausted and impoverished elements are unable to perform their duties, and security centers are in a state of total chaos. One of the solutions proposed and judicious is to accept the requests of demobilization of the members and to pump new blood” In the aging institution, formal and serious negotiation with the people concerned to establish clear plans. Otherwise, we will reach a point of no return. The absolute slipping point of security and the enforced failure of deterrence to perform its duties.”
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