BEIRUT: Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi asked General Security Saturday to open an investigation into the arrest of a man whom they lured into a center owned by the minister in a bid to apprehend him, requesting his immediate release.
“We ask the head of General Security and concerned parties to launch an investigation into this incident and punish those responsible for it,” Safadi was quoted by his press office as saying.
According to a statement released by the office, Shadi Mawlawi was lured Saturday to the Center for Social Services owned by Safadi in Nour Square in Tripoli, north Lebanon, by security agents on the pretext that he would be granted health care.
Minutes after Mawlawi's arrival, security forces stormed the center and arrested him. Several employees and customers at the center were shocked and became distraught.
“Safadi considers the security agencies to be above such means and is asking for [Mawlawi's] immediate release,” the statement said.
The statement also described the incident as a violation of laws and norms that could tarnish the image of General Security personnel.
Meanwhile, several people in Tripoli held a sit-in in Abdel-Hamid Karami Square and blocked the highway nearby in protest at Mawlawi's arrest.
The protesters held signs demanding his release and warning that they were willing to take further escalatory steps.