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Lebanese officials deny Beirut airport prison claim

  • File - Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Lebanese officials denied Friday a newspaper claim that an Arab woman was detained and held at a Hezbollah-controlled prison on the lower floors of Beirut airport.

A statement by the Interior Ministry said the results of an investigation ordered by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk revealed that “the report published in the paper is baseless.”

The statement said Machouk had ordered security agencies, including General Security and Internal Security Forces, to launch an immediate probe after pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat alleged that Hezbollah maintained a prison two stories below the airport facility in which its members detained, interrogated and tortured people.

The report quotes an unnamed woman who lives in Jeddah as saying that she was held for three days in the underground prison and interrogated by people who introduced themselves as Hezbollah’s special security.

Public Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Zeaiter also denied the claim, saying the issue was brought up during Cabinet's first session Thursday.

"This is a baseless claim and it is completely inaccurate,” Zeaiter said during a news conference at the airport. "It was also discussed in the Cabinet session yesterday with the interior and justice ministers."

 
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Summary

Lebanese officials denied Friday a newspaper claim that an Arab woman was detained and held at a Hezbollah-controlled prison on the lower floors of Beirut airport.

The statement said Machouk had ordered security agencies, including General Security and Internal Security Forces, to launch an immediate probe after pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat alleged that Hezbollah maintained a prison two stories below the airport facility in which its members detained, interrogated and tortured people.


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