During an interview with MTV Host Marcel Ghanem, the brother of one of the many Beirut blast victims went on record to recount multiple threats he has received from the Iran-backed group Hezbollah to scare him into silence.
William Noun spoke out about his encounter with members of the Hezbollah group, who threatened him “not to bring up Hezbollah during the interview with Marcel,” days before the scheduled TV program.
William wasn’t surprised by the threat since, according to him, it was not the first time he is met with an ultimatum from the militant group.
Due to his vocalness that Hezbollah is behind the death of his brother, William explained that he used to get multiple calls from Hezbollah members telling him not to speak out about the group or else they’ll make him regret it.
During the interview, William was explicit with his accusations towards Hezbollah, referring to it as the culprit behind the catastrophic explosion.
“Hezbollah owns the port. It’s public knowledge that the group controls it and uses their power to rig it in their favor,” he said and also accused the militant group of keeping its weapons in the port.
“As long as Hezbollah exists, there won’t be a government, and more people will die the way my brother did,” he warned.
William also drew a link between the stored ammonium nitrate, which he believes to be owned by Hezbollah, to the three Syrian businessmen linked to the company that brought the explosive material into Beirut’s port in 2013 for the use of the Syrian regime and the “resistance.”
Ever since the port exploded, taking along with it a major part of the capital, the general consensus has been that the dangerous substance in the port could only have belonged to the militant group, the only group allowed by the state to have its own arsenal and army independent from the state.
The given reason – or excuse – is that the state needs the group to protect its border against Israel, although Lebanon possesses a fully operational army, well-capable of defending the country.
However, Hezbollah has been also controlling the political scene ever since its agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement in 2006, an alliance that has politically empowered both groups, and brought them both to have a powerful grip on the government and its formation.
Intimidation and threats to silence outspoken civilians as well as the media have been a gloomy trend in Lebanon, with countless cases exposed to the public.
TV stations and journalists deemed anti-Hezbollah have been attacked and threatened. Outspoken civilians have had their share of dreadful intimidations and even arrests and lawsuits.
Mysterious deaths have also occurred; more recently is the tragic case of Lokman Slim who was constantly threatened by Hezbollah members.