Miqati Urges End to 'Tense Rhetoric', Says 'No One Above the Law'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Sunday stressed that “no one enjoys immunity and no one is above the law” in Lebanon, in the wake of the shooting death of a Sunni cleric at an army checkpoint in Akkar, calling for an end to the “tense rhetoric.”
“The government is determined to continue to shoulder its national responsibilities amid this critical period in Lebanon and the region, and it will take all measures necessary to preserve civil peace,” said Miqati following a broad security meeting at the Grand Serail aimed at discussing the deadly incidents and its repercussions.
A security official said army troops shot dead Abdul Wahed when his convoy failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Akkar town of al-Kweikhat. He told Agence France Presse that another religious figure in Abdul Wahed’s car, Mohammed Hussein Merheb, was also killed.
Mustaqbal bloc MP Khaled al-Daher, meanwhile, said that army troops deliberately opened fire at the clergyman.
The Army Command issued a statement saying “state commissioner to the military court Judge Saqr Saqr inspected the shooting scene and the available evidences and started interrogating the members of the army checkpoint to unveil the incident’s circumstances and take the necessary legal measures.”
“We call on the residents in Tripoli to act wisely and we are keen on fulfilling justice and we urge you to deal positively with the army,” Miqati said, after protesters blocked several roads in Tripoli and across Lebanon to protect Abdul Wahed’s death.
“We stress on the need to reopen roads and not to attack private and public properties because that would only serve the enemies,” Miqati added.
The premier noted that he asked Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi to “follow up on the case and shoulder his responsibilities.”
He warned that “the same as any mistake committed by a soldier can be fatal, mistakes committed by politicians can also be fatal,” calling for an end to the “tense rhetoric.”
Addressing the media, Miqati said: “The freedom of the media is sacred and I laud your efforts, but I urge you to contribute to diffusing tensions.”
Earlier on Sunday, Miqati ordered the formation of an investigation committee to look into the deadly incident.
He also held talks on the matter with Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel. He also contacted MP Daher, hoping that all sides would cooperate to ensure that calm is restored.