Rifi: Granting Jihadists their Demands Should be Done According to Law

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Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said that he will abide by the law regarding any swap between Islamist inmates held at Roumieh prison and the abducted soldiers and policemen, considering that their freedom and safety are more important than any price paid.

“We will abide by the law,” Rifi said in comments published in An Nahar newspaper on Thursday.

He pointed out that any convict needs a special or general amnesty.

The minister, who is affiliated to al-Mustaqbal Movement, noted that the demands of the kidnappers are being thoroughly discussed by the cabinet, considering that the case requires a “political decision.”

An Nahar reported that Rifi will head to Jeddah on Thursday on a one-day visit.

The troops and police were kidnapped by militants from al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group when they overran the northeastern border town of Arsal in August and engaged in bloody clashes with the army.

Their capture and the failure of the Lebanese authorities to secure their release sparked protests across Lebanon.

The families of the servicemen are fearing that the extremists would kill their loved ones after they executed three of the hostages in August and September.

The kidnappers have several demands to release the captives, including the freedom of Islamist inmates in Roumieh prison and the withdrawal of Hizbullah from battles in neighboring country Syria.



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