TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A gathering of Islamist groups urged Lebanese authorities Sunday to end their “repressive” practices against its members who are supporting Syria’s uprising, promising not to be deterred by such measures.
In a statement issued during a news conference at Hizb Ut-Tahrir’s headquarters in Tripoli, the groups said that Lebanese authorities have prevented and sometimes arrested people taking part in demonstrations in support of Syrian protests.
“Some people were arrested,” said Sheikh Adnan Mezian. “They were referred to the military judiciary despite being civilians and some are still in prison without trial.”
Besides Hizb Ut-Tahrir, the Beirut-based Association of Islamic Unity, the Association of Islamic Reform in Tripoli and other small groups, along with a number of sheikhs, took part in a meeting prior to the news conference.
The statement said that some “prominent” figures from Islamist movements have been summoned for questioning by the military judiciary.
The groups called on authorities to halt such acts against people who oppose the Syrian regime and who reflect public opinion by sympathizing with the oppressed people of Syria.
“The Islamist committees in Lebanon promise … brothers in Syria that they will not go back on supporting them … politically, popularly and via media,” Mezian said.
Ahmad Qasas, Hizb Ut-Tahrir’s media official, told The Daily Star that Imad Munla, a party member and a resident of Beirut, was arrested by authorities after they had found leaflets in his cars that were critical of recent remarks about the unrest in Syria made by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai.
According to Qasas, Munla was accused of insulting the military when he criticized it for preventing a demonstration planned by Hizb Ut-Tahrir near the Syrian-Lebanese border in August.
“He has been held for 16 days without trial,” Qasas said.
A judicial source told The Daily Star that Munla had “strongly resisted” when the Lebanese Army personnel detained him and described its personnel as “infidels” and collaborators with the Syrian army, adding that Munla would face trial on these charges.
Three young members of Hizb Ut-Tahrir from Tripoli were also detained on the same charges but later released, said Qasas.