Sayyed Ali El-Amine Is Not Being Charged With Meeting Israeli Officials

OLJ/Fadl Itani

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency apologized for publishing inaccurate news in relation to the claims against the religious leader and political activist Sayyed Ali El-Amine.

In its initial report, the NNA claimed that the public prosecutor’s office of Mount Lebanon pressed charges against Sayyed Ali El-Amine based on a lawsuit filed by lawyer Ghassan Al-Mawla on behalf of four people.

They accused the religious leader of several charges, including meeting up with Israeli officials during a conference of religions in Bahrain.

Upon hearing the news, many people began to tweet the hashtag “Sayyed Ali El-Amine is an agent” similar to the response when activist Kinda El Khatib was accused of communicating with Israel.

The NNA stated later that the Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Judge Raed Abu Shaqra had charged Sayyed Ali El-Amine with only two charges:

(1) the crime of stirring sectarian sentiments and inciting conflict between sects, (2) and for criticizing religious rituals, and not for meeting with Israeli officials in Bahrain.

Sayyed Ali El-Amine, known for publicly disagreeing with Hezbollah sentiment, is currently still accused of his anti-Hezbollah stance by allegedly “attacking the resistance and its martyrs” as mentioned in the initial report.

Former Prime Minister Fouad Seniora called the allegations against Sayyed Ali El-Amine “a mockery” and noted that the [the authorities] are “delaying real reforms.”

He shared his opinion that the Lebanese judiciary is being taken advantage of to oust political opponents, according to NNA.

Seniora’s statement is in reference to the authorities’ recent crackdown related to the defamation law, which aims at arresting critics of the government.