Activist and lecturer Makram Rabah, who is also a prominent critic of Hezbollah, was arrested at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport and had his phone and passport seized.
Makram Rabah told Annahar that, on his way to Dubai, a General Security official at the airport took him with his belongings for inspection. They asked to search his electronic devices, including a phone and a computer, but he refused and called his lawyer.
A “judicial reference” called the General Security official and demanded the release of Rabah as there was no judicial order for him to be arrested. Rabah has since been released and back in Beirut.
After his unjustified arrest, Rabah took to his Facebook page to hint that the reasoning behind his arrest is linked to his vocal criticism of the Hezbollah party.
“I created a loud voice and, God willing, I will die higher,” Rabah said in his statement. “The state and the constitution are to protect us from illegal weapons and the weapon of corruption, and whoever thinks that we can build a country without getting rid of this horror is wrong.”
Rabah went on to thank everyone who is in solidarity not only with him but with his values and principles.
Lebanese residents were quick to voice their anger on social media regarding Rabah’s arrest.
The American University of Beirut’s secular club expressed full support and solidarity with Makram Rabah who is also a professor of History at AUB.
“The AUB Secular Club would like to express its full support and solidarity with Dr. Makram Rabbah in the face of systemized oppression and the current government that protects corruption and crime,” they wrote in the Instagram post.
Ever since the October 17 uprising, security agencies have increased phone seizures and searches on any activist being detained, which is a clear breach of their privacy.
Makram Rabah ended his statement on Facebook by saying, “As my teacher Kamal Salibi used to say, Lebanon is a great country, let’s get back.”
It is a great country indeed, yet being violated by greed and abuse of power by those fearing to lose their iron-clawed grip on the country.