Two of the relatives of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria on Wednesday managed to visit the abductees in the Aleppo town of Aazaz along with an LBCI TV crew.
Ali Zgheib’s son Adham and Awad Ibrahim’s brother Hussein appeared in the highly emotional video broadcast by LBCI, as tears and appeals dominated the scene.
The abductees called on their families and the entire Lebanese people to block the airport road and rally outside the Syrian embassy.
Breaking into tears, abductee Abbas Shoaib told LBCI: “I have three daughters and I ask them to go to the airport road.”
“I call on the people – as we don’t have faith in Lebanon’s government or any government – to block the airport road and protest in front of the Syrian embassy … the embassy of the regime,” said Ali Abbas, another abductee.
Earlier on Wednesday, the 11 Lebanese pilgrims were allowed to contact their loved ones by telephone.
Al-Jadeed television also managed to get a film crew to the pilgrims’ location in Aazaz in Aleppo where they were allowed to telephone their families.
The captives reassured their families that they are doing well and that they were being well taken care of.
One of them asked the Lebanese people to demonstrate outside the Syrian embassy in Beirut and block the airport road to protest the failure to ensure their release.
Also on Wednesday, acting Information Minister Wael Abou Faour stated that efforts are underway between President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati to ensure their release.
“They are aware of how important this issue is,” he said after a cabinet session headed by the premier.
“This ordeal must end and the state is determined to do all it can to release them,” he stressed.
On Tuesday, the families of pilgrims threatened that Turkish citizens would become “guests” in Lebanon if Ankara does not make serious efforts to set the abductees free.
Sheikh Abbas Zgheib, who has been tasked by the Higher Islamic Shiite Council to follow up the case, told several TV stations that Lebanese authorities hadn’t done enough to guarantee the release of the kidnapped pilgrims.
“We hope that we reach the solution that everyone is after,” he said.
But he warned that “the families will do what is necessary” after saying that Turkey and Qatar should pressure the abductors to “end the tragedy.”
Later on Tuesday, the pilgrims appeared in good health after an LBC news team was able to interview them, but the men lashed out at the government for not doing enough to set them free.
“I won’t urge our state because I don’t consider myself that I have a state and I am no longer proud of being Lebanese,” said one of the pilgrims Abbas Shoaib.
“I make an appeal to the Saudi King, Qatar and (Turkish PM) Erdogan to back the Syrian revolution” and resolve our case “so that we return back to our families.”
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/49355|