BEIRUT: Lebanese judicial authorities released four individuals detained during Tripoli's security crackdown Tuesday, after Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi urged it to speed up trials and release those who were found innocent in the northern city.
The prisoners, Tarek Berri, Khaled Marzouk, Bilal al-Naaman and Khaled al-Naaman, were released from Tripoli's Qibbeh prison and were received by their family members, a security source told The Daily Star.
The four prisoners announced last Thursday that they were going on a hunger strike in solidarity with Roumieh prisoners, demanding their immediate release from prison.
Bab al-Tabbaneh residents carried out protests last week, blocking roads leading to the Abu Ali roundabout with rocks, trashcans and tires, urging the release of relatives detained over involvement in Tripoli clashes.
The Sunni-dominated Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood and the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen were involved in a series of clashes over the past few years because of rival allegiances in the war in Syria.
The arrest of dozens of armed men, including militia commanders and Islamists, took place when the military launched a security plan on April 1 in an attempt to restore law and order in the northern city.
Relatives of the detained have claimed that those arrested had only surrendered to authorities because of promises made by local leaders, vowing to get them out of jail in two weeks’ time.
Bab al-Tabbaneh residents protested what they say are arbitrary detentions targeting the Sunni community, saying security forces discriminate against their community and treat them differently than their Alawite neighbors in Jabal Mohsen.
Bab al-Tabbaneh residents were angered by the release of two Jabal Mohsen detainees.