Lebanese Activist Summoned And Detained For Speaking Out Against Hezbollah

Al-Jadeed

Lebanese political researcher, activist, writer, and Dr at the American University of Beirut, Makram Rabah faced hours of interrogation on Monday, March 18, summoned by Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security.

The detention followed Rabah’s criticism of Hezbollah’s military presence in Baalbek, expressed during a media interview.

Government Commissioner to the Military Court, Judge Fadi Akiki, initiated further investigation into Rabah’s case after he refused to surrender his mobile phone during interrogation, citing privacy concerns.

This summons stemmed from Rabah’s interview on the “Spot Shot” website, where he objected to Lebanon’s involvement in a potential war with Israel and discussed Israeli bombings targeting Hezbollah sites.

In response to Rabah’s detention, activists gathered outside the General Security headquarters to protest what they perceived as a suppression of dissenting voices.

They argue that such actions undermine freedom of expression and pose a threat to civil liberties in Lebanon.

After several hours, Judge Akiki opted to release Rabah under investigation without him signing any papers.

This is not the first time Rabah has been subjected to questioning by authorities.

Previously, he criticized the then-Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil’s “racist discourse”, leading to a summons by the Central Criminal Investigations Department.

In 2020, Rabah was also detained at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport, where his passport and phone were confiscated without explanation before being released.

Related: Lebanon Slipped Down 23 Places From 2021 In The 2022 Press Freedom Index

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