Jumblat: Syria Influencing Some Security Agencies to Harass Revolution Supportersإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat rejected attempts at portraying Lebanon as a “Salafist hub” for arresting those who support the Syrian revolution.
He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “Some security agencies in Lebanon are being prodded by Syria to harass the supporters of the Syrian revolution.”
They are also being influenced to portray Salafists as being the “ultimate evil.”
“Why is the Salafist threat being blown out of proportion? How strong are Salafists in Lebanon and are they restricted to Sunni Muslims?” he wondered.
“Why are they constantly being linked to terrorism? Haven’t we come across major right-wing strategists and intellectuals who can be considered as extremists?” asked the MP.
Jumblat noted: “Lebanon is being portrayed as a Salafist hub in order to justify the failure to provide Syrian refugees in Lebanon with humanitarian aid.”
This excuse is also being used to justify the arrest of some of the refugees and handing them to Syrian authorities, he remarked.
He added sarcastically that soon “Lebanese authorities will come up with a leader for al-Qaida in Lebanon to prove their point.”
Furthermore, the Druze leader questioned the lack of coordination between the Lebanese security agencies, “which leaves the country exposed on a security level.”
He also rejected the “distribution of security decisions in Lebanon according to political affiliations.”
“Security agencies must serve all the Lebanese without distinction,” he stressed.
“This explains why telecom data has been withheld in various crimes in Lebanon, including political assassinations the last of which was the failed attempt against Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea,” said Jumblat.
He therefore demanded that a political settlement be reached to end the “tragedy that emerges in Tripoli every now and then.”
The PSP chief urged the implementation of a comprehensive development plan for Tripoli in order to tackle the city’s poverty.
This should take place simultaneously with the resumption of the national dialogue, which would devise a comprehensive national defense strategy for Lebanon based on preventing the use of arms on the internal Lebanese scene, he continued.
Clashes erupted on Saturday between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen after the General Security Department’s arrest of an Islamist, Shadi al-Mawlawi, by luring him to an office of Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi’s welfare association under the pretext that he would receive health care.
Al-Mawlawi was seized for allegedly contacting a terrorist organization. Media reports said that the suspect is an avid supporter of the Syrian revolution against President Bashar Assad’s regime.
At least four people have since been killed and 45 wounded in the unrest.