Al-Mawlawi Released on Bail: I was Arrested for Aiding Syrian Refugees

Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:01
Judge Saqr Saqr decided on Tuesday to release Shadi al-Mawlawi after over a week in custody.

He declared upon his release that he was “wrongfully arrested for aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon.”

“I was forced to make confessions under pressure and torture,” he added on his arrival in the northern city of Tripoli.

Islamist al-Mawlawi was released on bail of L.L. 500,000 after a hearing that was held on Tuesday, reported LBC television.

A request for his release had been submitted last week, but it was rejected in order to carry out more investigations.

He had been arrested in Tripoli on May 12 on charges of belonging to a terrorist group.

The development sparked clashes between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, which left some ten people dead and at least 70 wounded.

The news of his release was met with celebratory fireworks by his supporters in Tripoli’s al-Nour Square.

Concerned security sources voiced fears over the “politicization of his case,” adding that his file is full of “baseless” claims as stated by various MPs and al-Mawlawi’s family, reported An Nahar daily on Tuesday.

As Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday that al-Mawlawi had confessed to possessing an al-Qaida code that proves his affiliation with the organization, a claim that his family has denied.

A number of Tripoli MPs had defended him, saying that he was arrested for supporting the Syrian revolution.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour denied to al-Joumhouria newspaper on Tuesday that Qatar had threatened to expel Lebanese individuals who are employed in the Gulf state if the case of its national Abdullah Aziz al-Atiyeh is not resolved.

Atiyeh was temporarily detained in Lebanon for allegedly being linked to a terrorist group, the same network that al-Mawlawi is supposedly linked to.

He has since been released and left Lebanon despite a travel ban being imposed on him.

Al-Mawlawi said that Atiyeh had arrived in Lebanon for surgery and had proposed that they aid Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Over the weekend, Qatar imposed travel restrictions on its citizens traveling to Lebanon.

Some sides attributed the decision to the unrest in northern Lebanon, while others linked it to Atiyeh’s arrest.

Al-Joumhouria had reported that Mansour had met with Atiyeh during his recent visit to Qatar.

He had also received condemnation from various Qatari officials over the arrest, seeing as Atiyeh owns major companies and is a close relative of the country’s premier, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani.

The officials wondered: “How could Atiyeh have been arrested and his name released to the media without the charges against him being proven?”

They asserted to Mansour that he was seeking to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, revealing that he had dedicated $400,000 for them and that al-Mawlawi took it upon himself to transfer these funds to them.

This is the only tie these two individuals share and they are not linked to a terrorist network, stressed Qatari officials.
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