Beirut University Security Chief Detained for Assault on Cameraman
The security chief of the American University of Beirut (AUB) has been detained after he was accused of beating up a television cameraman on campus, the state Tele-Liban television station said Wednesday.
Saadallah Shalaq, a former captain in the Internal Security Forces, Lebanon's police, was detained late Tuesday, a day after he allegedly assaulted Tele-Liban cameraman Abbas Shehab, it said.
Shehab had been filming a ceremony during which a small group of angry students demonstrated to disrupt a speech of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, who was announcing the opening of a new business faculty.
Shehab was taken to hospital after suffering bruises and broken bones, according to Tele-Liban, which accused Shalaq of being "pro-Hariri" and pledged to sue him.
An AUB statement published in Beirut newspapers on Wednesday said Shalaq was "a member of staff who performs his duty and has no political loyalties to anyone."
Another statement by AUB President John Waterbury "deplored" the students attempt to disrupt Hariri's speech.
Waterbury said he was "ashamed that a small, noisy minority violated the fundamental principles of courtesy and respect."
A fistfight erupted during the AUB ceremony Monday between leftist students from the People's Movement of MP Najah Wakim, a staunch opponent of Hariri when he was in power between 1992-1998, and others from Hariri's Future Current.
Wakim's sympathizers, carrying anti-Hariri banners, tried to prevent Hariri from delivering a speech by shouting "thief" and "our university is not for sale" to Hariri, who has granted 10 million dollars for the new faculty.
A fierce campaign has been raging ahead of the legislative elections, due to start Sunday, between Prime Minister Salim Hoss and his billionaire predecessor Hariri mainly through Tele-Liban and Hariri's Future TV - BEIRUT (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)