In protest to the baseless detainment of Lebanese lawyer Jimmy Hadchiti, the Beirut Bar Association (BBA), headed by Melhem Khalaf, has called for a strike on Monday.
Hadchiti was detained without cause after being assaulted and physically attacked by members of the Internal Security Forces in Beirut.
Hadchiti, who is married to Al-Jadeed news anchor Clara Geha, went to question an officer who verbally assaulted and bullied Geha while she and their children were in the car.
As per Geha’s account, which she has video evidence to back up, an officer walked up from behind Hadchiti and slammed him in the head/face with his helmet, and he along with another officer began to beat him to the ground.
Khalaf arrived at the scene, where the family was held by authorities for over an hour. There, he argued that there was no cause for the Hadchiti to be detained, nor was he guilty of anything. However, that did not keep the authorities from detaining the lawyer after a judge allowed it.
The BBA issued a statement in response to the “blatant attack” and illegal detainment, calling on all attorneys in Lebanon to go on strike on Monday. There will be an emergency meeting to address the situation.
In the statement, the BBA said that the judge in charge of the investigations in the case “blatantly transgressed all legal principles and made a “surreal” decision to arrest Hadchiti,” adding that it was a “brazen and shameful violation of the law.”
The implementation of this arrest only consecrates the tight grip security agencies have on state institutions and judiciary, noted the BBA, hinting at the alarming way Lebanon is turning into a police state.