Lebanese Activists Released After Being Detained In Obscure Circumstances

Khaldoun Jaber is a Lebanese revolutionary, activist, social media figure, and editor in chief at Kharbachat official. 

He was among some hundred people who went to the presidential palace in Baabda to protest the interview of president Michel Aoun that provoked the Lebanese people.

Khaldoun got arrested by the army protecting the area and taken to an unknown destination, supposedly after he crossed the security cordon. Some would also say that the army extracted him from the crowd because he was addressing the president with disgraceful words.

After being aggressively taken, his fellow protesters insisted on staying on that same road until they get notified about the fate of Khaldoun.

However, the police officers, who were ordered to open all roads, especially the Baabda highway, cleared the scene from the protesters shortly after midnight.

This young protester’s whereabouts remained unknown, even to a group of volunteer lawyers who have been defending protesters when arrested. They went to the Army Intelligence Center in Rihaniya, but they did not find him there.

His brother shared on social media that Khaldoun is being beaten and denied his right to an attorney. He appealed activists to report any information about his brother’s place of captivity and to take him to the hospital if they can.

The next day, and after 12 hours of Khaldoun being missing, the military judge decided to release him. Protesters of Baabda along with his relatives, friends, and supporters protested outside the Ras Beirut police station and in front of the courthouse in Beirut for his release.

Upon his release, Khaldoun was grabbed by his comrades in warm hugs and lifted on their shoulders in celebration of his freedom.

Smiling broadly yet evidently exhausted, he thanked everyone for supporting him and went on to chant with them “Down with the police regime, we will remain in the streets.”

To reporters asking him questions about his arrest, he said, “They kidnapped me.”  According to several sources, the charges were related to an old parking ticket penalty. Khaldoun was also heard saying, “They caught me off guard and took me with them. They beat me a few times.”

On his Facebook page, Khaldoun later posted, “I will not be afraid of this police regime, we are back on the streets… This revolution is bigger than all of us. I love you from the bottom of my heart.”

While Khaldoun Jaber has been released, 18 other protesters are reportedly still detained, awaiting their hearing on November 19.

Those young detainees are accused of allegedly sabotaging the Rest House complex in Tyr. A solidarity march by protesters was organized to support them and demand their release. 

Just a couple of hours ago, two other activists Samer Mazeh and Ali Basal were released as protesters waited in front of the Gemmayze police station. 

We’ve been witnessing these past two days a new type of activity from some of the military authorities on the ground, and we can’t but wonder who are they really. 

The Commander in Chief has given specific orders to not assault the protesters and the relationship between the protesters and the army in the streets has been mutually caring and respectful since the onset of the revolution… until now.

So who are these people within the military, arresting and mistreating protesters, even provoking them? Are they trying to turn the people and the army against each other? We call for caution.

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