Lebanese Composer Samir Sfeir Arrested In Saudi Arabia

Al Jazeera | VDL News

Lebanese composer Samir Sfeir, who is a known supporter of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), was recently arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi authorities arrested Sfeir after he arrived in the Kingdom a few days ago at the invitation of a Riyadh official.

According to Al-Akhbar, Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry contacted the Saudi embassy about the arrest, after which Sfeir’s wife was allowed to see him.

Until now, Saudi authorities are declining to give reasons for the arrest.

A prominent FPM member, Charbel Khalil, claimed in a tweet that Saudis “kidnapped” Sfeir solely because he is an Aounist (member of Aoun’s party, the FPM).

“The Lebanese artist, Samir Sfeir, was kidnapped in the Kingdom of Bin Salman only because he is Aouni (there is no truth to the rest of the rumors),” he tweeted.

No official confirmation has been issued as of yet to confirm Khalil’s claim. Saudi Arabia has been for decades the working residence of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese of all walks of life and political partisanships, including Aounists.

It is to add that there is no antagonism between the Saudi government and Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, the founder of the FPM, for the members of his party to get arrested or persecuted in the Kingdom.

Earlier this year, Samir Sfeir was given certain favoritism in Saudi Arabia with the vaccination against the coronavirus, which sparked outrage among Saudi nationals, who called on authorities to expel him.

The hashtag طرد_سمير_صفير_مطلب# (Expelling Samir Sfeir is a demand) started trending on Twitter as people in Saudi Arabia slammed Sfeir, accusing him to have publicly criticized and mocked their country more than once.

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