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Worldview security report – December 6, 2018


Pakistan (Security threat level – 5) : On 6 December 2018, police officers clashed with approximately 150 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers who had gathered in front of the accountability court in Lahore in support of Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. Police officers used baton charges to disperse the workers, injuring several dozen people. Authorities detained several of the protesters. Sharif has been in custody since 5 October on charges of alleged corruption.
Additionally, hundreds of farmers continued to protest in Lahore for a second consecutive day over the price of agricultural supplies, such as fertilizer and pesticides. The demonstrators staged a sit-in at Thoker Niaz Baig. Although there were no reports of violence associated with the farmers’ protest, it did cause traffic disruptions.


Greece (Security threat level – 3): As reported in Hot Spots on 5 December 2018, commemorative demonstrations occurred in Athens and Thessaloniki on 6 December to mark the 10th anniversary of the shooting death of a teenager by a police officer in Athens’ Exarchia neighborhood. In Athens, violence occurred when several protesters threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at police officers, who responded by firing tear gas as the demonstrators approached the Parliament building. A group of protesters also used sledgehammers to break off pieces of pavement and damage buildings near Korai Square. At least 10 people have been detained; no injuries have been reported. In Thessaloniki, protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police officers, who responded with stun grenades. No injuries or arrests have been reported in Thessaloniki. Protests will likely continue throughout the day on 6 December. For example, a rally is planned on the evening of 6 December in the location where the teenager died in Athens. Similar demonstrations are planned in Thessaloniki.


Iran (Security threat level – 3): On the morning of 6 December 2018, a bombing and shooting attack occurred in Chabahar, a southeastern port city located in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Reports indicate that a car bomb detonated at the front gates of the police headquarters — located on Shahid Rigi Boulevard — and that militants opened fire on police officers following the explosion. The attack killed at least two people and injured several others. The Balochi militant group Ansar al-Furqan claimed responsibility for the attack, and Iranian officials accused unnamed foreign powers of sponsoring the group.


Sierra Leone (Security threat level – 4): On 5 December 2018, doctors in public hospitals went on strike to protest poor working conditions and low wages. The strike disrupted service provision at Freetown’s Connaught Hospital, the country’s largest hospital. Nurses at Connaught Hospital continued to provide care to patients, but stated that they will likely join the strike on 7 December if the government does not meet the doctors’ demands by then. The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association stated that physicians are willing to strike indefinitely, but the health minister stated that he expects the strike will be resolved within the next few days.


Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 6 December 2018, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued updated travel advice for Haiti, which reads in part as follows: “Recent violent protests in Port-au-Prince and other cities in Haiti have resulted in deaths and injuries. Avoid crowds and protests as they may quickly turn violent. Limit your movements as much as possible and stock up on essential supplies if safe to do so. We haven’t changed the level of our advice. Exercise a high degree of caution in Haiti. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.”

Malaysia (Security threat level – 3): On 6 December 2018, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Malaysia, which reads in part as follows: “A large public gathering is scheduled to take place in the Dataran Merdaka area of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 8 December; checkpoints and other security measures may be in place; there is a separate public gathering in the Padang Timur area of Petaling Jaya (a Kuala Lumpur suburb) at the same time; you should exercise caution, monitor local information, and follow the advice of the local authorities.”