Supporters of Tripoli prisoners protest in the city as they demand their release, Friday, July 18, 2014. (The Daily Star/Fathi Masri)
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Leaders of armed groups in the northern city of Tripoli are unlikely to be released from prison soon, according to politicians and political sources, despite continuous protests by concerned relatives calling for their freedom.Local politicians admit the cases have fallen prey to an ongoing political conflict between the Future Movement and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati – a Tripolitan – who are accusing each other of standing behind protests or keeping the detainees in prison."The files of these individuals are not being dealt with quickly judicially, and it is difficult for them to go on trial and defend themselves and relay their experience of receiving support and funding and even arming from political and security services," a Tripoli politician, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Daily Star.He said the prevailing impression was that the militia leaders were doomed to remain prisoners indefinitely, as the only real solution was to grant general amnesty to those involved in the Tripoli clashes, whether from Bab al-Tabbaneh or Jabal Mohsen. Approximately 120 individuals involved in the Tripoli clashes are still in jail, many of whom turned themselves in to security agencies during the crackdown.Militia leader Amer Arish, who was released two weeks after he turned himself in, said he was surprised fellow commanders had been in prison for the last three months.
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