TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Amid beefed-up security by Lebanese security forces, a protest organized by Hizb Ut-Tahrir in support of anti-regime demonstrators in Syria ended peacefully in the northern city of Tripoli Friday.
After attending Friday prayers, a few hundred protesters, led by Hizb Ut-Tahrir’s Lebanon media officer Ahmad Qasas, marched 40 meters to Nijmeh Square.
“Oh Syria, don’t hesitate, revolt for victory is yours,” chanted the protesters, brandishing Hizb Ut-Tahrir flags.
The protesters waved placards that read “the free people of Lebanon stand by the free people of Syria” and “a traitor is he who kills his people.”
Sheikh Hassan al-Shahal, a prominent figure of the Salafist movement in Lebanon, was among those who attended the demonstration. He said it was important to stand with “all the oppressed brethren in the Arab countries who continue to be suppressed.”
Qasas, for his part, reiterated calls for the support of “our people in Bilad al-Sham [Syria].”
Hizb Ut-Tahrir is an international pan-Islamic political organization that seeks the unification of Muslim countries under one caliphate, or head of state.
Security forces at the scene Friday did not try to stop the protest. Local media reported that the authorities had given the green light for the brief march.
The peaceful ending of the two-and-a-half-hour demonstration came after about 400 members of the Internal Security Forces, anti-riot police and Lebanese Army commandos had blocked roads leading to the mosque and the main Nour square near Nijmeh square.