BEIRUT — American journalist of Syrian-Palestinian origin Nada Homsi, who is based in Beirut, was released from Beirut International Airport on Monday after being detained once again by General Security upon arrival at the airport Sunday, for reasons that remain unknown. According to General Security, Homsi was detained in November 2021 for having stayed in Israel.
Here’s what we know:
•After her release, Homsi tweeted the following:
• “Nada was held by Lebanon’s General Security upon arrival to Beirut airport, refused entry and threatened [with] deportation. [General security should] clarify [the] reason for entry ban and allow Nada meaningful opportunity to challenge deportation,” tweeted Aya Majzoub, researcher at Human's Rights Watch.
• When contacted, a General Security spokesperson said they did not have details on Homsi's detention.
• For her part, Homsi published on her Instagram account, @morning_dewdew, that she hasn't been arrested, but at the moment is in custody.
• General Security had detained Homsi in November 2021 for three weeks and accused her of having hidden a second passport, attesting that she had stayed in Israel. Speaking to Human Rights Watch, Homsi’s lawyer, Diala Chehade, said that General Security officials raided Homsi’s apartment on Nov. 16 without a legal warrant and discovered a small quantity of cannabis.
• Speaking to L'Orient Today after her first release, Homsi said that when officers came to her apartment without a warrant on Nov. 16, "I didn't understand why, because no complaint was filed against me." She suggested that she might have been targeted for her pro-Palestine public stances and for her work as a journalist.