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DETAINEES FREED

Two Lebanese released from detention in the UAE return home

Two Lebanese released from detention in the UAE return home

Ahmad Sobh and Hussein Barada arrive in Beirut. (Credit: Hassan Assal)

BEIRUT — Two Lebanese citizens released from detention in the United Arab Emirates arrived in Beirut overnight Saturday aboard a Middle East Airlines flight from Dubai. The pair are the last two of a group of 11 Lebanese arrested in the UAE whose release follows a lengthy mediation by Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim.

Here’s what we know:

    • The two men, named by local media outlets as Ahmad Sobh and Hussein Barada, were greeted by their families at the Beirut airport. The pair thanked Ibrahim for his role in securing their release.

    • Nine other Lebanese detainees in the UAE were released at the beginning of the year. At the time, Ibrahim told AFP that some of those freed had been held for two years, while others had been in detention for between four and eight months; however, he did not detail the reasons for their arrests.

    • Lebanese citizens living in the Gulf countries have sometimes found themselves at the heart of regional tensions amid the standoff between the Sunni Gulf monarchies and Shiite Iran. Several Lebanese, many of them Shiite, living in the UAE have been convicted in recent years for alleged links with Hezbollah, which the UAE government and several other Gulf monarchies classify as a terrorist organization. In May 2019, Amnesty International reported prison sentences for three Lebanese accused in the UAE of forming a “terrorist cell” and “planning attacks” on orders from Hezbollah. In 2016, Lebanese were also expelled from Bahrain for “belonging to or supporting Hezbollah.”


BEIRUT — Two Lebanese citizens released from detention in the United Arab Emirates arrived in Beirut overnight Saturday aboard a Middle East Airlines flight from Dubai. The pair are the last two of a group of 11 Lebanese arrested in the UAE whose release follows a lengthy mediation by Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim.Here’s what we know:    • The two men, named by...