Roumieh Inmates' Families Suspend Protest in Tripoli, Rifi Warns of Dragging City Back into 'Circle of Violence'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The families of Roumieh prison inmates decided to suspend their sit-ins in Tripoli as Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi warned on Saturday of "dragging the northern city back into the circle of violence."
"The inmates' families decided to reopen the roads until next Thursday after receiving promises from several Sheikhs and prominent figures in relation to their demands,” OTV reported on Saturday evening.
The demonstrators were protesting and blocking roads over the continuous imprisonment of their sons in Roumieh.
Radio Voice of Lebanon (93.3) said earlier in the day that army troops failed to reopen Tripoli's international road after it was blocked by protesters.
"Soldiers deployed on top of buildings in the city after number of demonstrators had increased,” VDL added.
Meanwhile, al-Jadeed television said another sit-in was held in the Souq al-Arid area to protest the continued blocking of roads in the city.
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi commented on the latest developments in the North, considering that the “just cause” for which citizens are protesting is being "exploited by local political factions and certain security bodies to serve some personal interests."
"All the city's residents, regardless of their social status or their political orientation, are paying the price,” he noted.
Rifi called on the protesters to reopen the roads, assuring as well that their “message has been well-received.”
"We did and we continue to follow-up on your rightful cause... But we hope you would not be turned into tools in the hands of those trying to drag the city back into the circle of violence and of crises,” he said, addressing the inmates' families.
"This is not in your sons' interest and we assure you that we will not abandon them and we will exert all efforts to treat them fairly,” he stated.
In the same context, former Prime Minister Najib Miqati said some parties want to establish a link between Tripoli and turbulent security events.
The parties that have been financing and causing these events for the past three years are known and so are their motives, Miqati said in reference to al-Mustaqbal bloc.
"But the consequences and the arrests (that resulted from the Tripoli clashes) are now putting pressure on them (al-Mustaqbal),” he added.
He elaborated: “They believed the lies they had fabricated. They reached a settlement with yesterday's enemy, but the latter neutralized its allies while they pushed those that fought for them and in their names to prison.”
Security forces had carried out raids in Tripoli on Friday in search of fugitives, as many northern figures slammed the “arbitrary detentions” in the city.
The Islamic National Gathering lashed out on Thursday at the “arbitrary arrests targeting the sons of Tripoli,” warning that the “oppression of the Sunni sect will result in unexpected reactions.”
Al-Mustaqbal bloc, meanwhile, had said on Tuesday that many of the Tripoli arrests were based on investigations that were conducted under psychological and mental pressure, considering that this resulted in launching accusations of terrorism against people “who were merely tasked with carrying guns.”