BEIRUT – Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi on Friday asked judicial authorities to prosecute organizers and speakers at events critical of Bahrain authorities, which took place earlier this week, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Here’s what we know:
• Mawlawi’s condemned the events that “offended Bahraini authorities in particular and Gulf states in general,” saying the organizers failed “to obtain prior approval” and that the events contradicted “Lebanon’s official mission to strengthen ties with Gulf states.”
• Titled “United for Justice,” the event, hosted by Bahraini Shiite opposition group al-Wifaq, took place at 7 pm in the Rihab neighborhood of Ghobeiri, in Beirut’s southern suburbs, which is considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
• The conferences took place despite Mawlawi’s request for the police to prevent them being staged.
• Late last year, Mawlawi ordered the deportation of non-Lebanese members of al-Wifaq after a press conference held by Bahrain’s main opposition group angered the Gulf monarchy.
• Lebanon has been trying to mend its relations with several Gulf monarchies since October, when then-Information Minister George Kurdahi’s comments critical of Saudi involvement in the war in Yemen were broadcast.