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Lebanon News

Protest in Sidon demands speedy trials for Abra detainees

Relatives of Islamist detainees arrested last year for their alleged role in the Abra clashes, carry banners during a protest in Sidon, Friday, June 6, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON: Dozens of families in Sidon protested delays in trying Islamist detainees the Army arrested last year for their alleged role in the Abra clashes.

Sitting outside the Zaatari Mosque, the mostly female protesters held banners demanding speedy trials and the release of innocent detainees.

“My son was arrested, but he is innocent and now he is on a hunger strike along with other inmates,” Amani al-Owaya told The Daily Star during the protest.

“Indictments exonerated some of the detainees who should be immediately released. They’ve been in jail for over a year,” she said.

Some of the banners read: “Prison is for reform, not a punishment,” “They are human, freedom to our youth,” and “Release the sheikhs!”

Some 40 supporters of fugitive Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir that took part in clashes with the Lebanese Army in the coastal city of Sidon in June of last year were arrested shortly after the fighting ended.

The detainees have said they will go on hunger strikes unless their demands are met.

The protesters in Sidon also demanded the release of Sheikh Assem al-Arefi and Sheikh Alaa al-Saleh, who they claim are innocent.

 

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