Nine Islamists Released from Roumieh Prison

Authorities on Tuesday have released nine Islamists detained in Roumieh prison after at least four years of imprisonment.

Two Palestinian Islamists were not immediately freed, but handed to the Internal Security Forces.

Fourteen Islamists were initially arrested over alleged links to the Fatah al-Islam terrorist network that fought deadly gunbattles with the Lebanese army in 2007.

Beirut Examining Magistrate Ghassan Owaidat ordered on Monday the release of the detainees on a LL500,000 bail each for lack of evidence of their involvement in the clashes.

Al-Jadeed said that Prime Minister Najib Miqati will pay the bail of each of the Islamists.

Some Islamists told the television station that they were detained without trial, accusing the state and judiciary of neglecting their case and wrongfully imprisoning them.

They demanded that justice be granted to all detainees in Lebanon and that all Islamists be released from prison, reported al-Jadeed.

One released detainee estimated that some 180 Islamists are currently held in Roumieh prison.

The National News Agency said however that some 100 Islamists are currently in the jail, including 15 Lebanese nationals, three Saudis, two Yemenis, a national from each of Russia, Germany, and Turkey, while the rest are comprised of Syrians and Palestinians.

Miqati had requested from General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza to completely resolve the case of the imprisoned Islamists before the latter's retirement on July 15, meaning that the remaining detainees may be released before this date, according to NNA.

According to An Nahar and al-Akhbar dailies, a second batch of Islamists, including Lebanese and foreigners, will also be set free next week.

They quoted judicial sources as saying that the 14 detainees had been arrested between 2007 and 2008 during and after the battles at the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared that left some 400 people, including 168 soldiers, dead.

According to An Nahar, nine of them are Lebanese, four are Palestinians and the 14th is a Syrian.

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