Lebanon Sentences Three to 'Hard Labor' in Absentia Over Normalization With Israel

Published August 25th, 2021 - 07:40 GMT
Three jailed for normalization with Israel
A picture taken on August 5, 2021, from the northern Israeli town of Metula near the border with Lebanon, shows Lebanon and Israel flags. The Israeli air force said it carried out its first air strikes on neighbouring Lebanon in seven years today following a second day of rocket fire across the border. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

Lebanon’s Military Tribunal has sentenced three Lebanese nationals in absentia to jail and hard labor on charges of collaboration and ties with the Israeli regime.

The tribunal, chaired by Brigadier General Mounir Shehadeh, sentenced Jamal Ahmed Rifi, a doctor residing in Australia and brother of former Lebanese justice minister Ashraf Rifi, to 10 years in prison in absentia for the crime of “normalization with Israel,” Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported.

The court also ordered Amin Muhammad Mari Baydoun, who holds US citizenship, to serve five years behind bars for the crime of “dealing with the Israeli enemy.”

Lebanese authorities arrested Baydoun at Beirut airport in June.

Moreover, the tribunal ordered Marc Charbel Tanios to serve two years in prison after he was convicted of “communicating with the Israeli enemy and exchanging emails with it.”

Ashraf Rifi, who is also a former director-general of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, accused the court of being “politicized” for the trial against his brother in absentia.

Last December, Lebanese political opponent Kinda el-Khatib was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of working with Israel.

Military Investigative Judge Najat Abu Shakra indicted Khatib at the time.

 

She was referred to a military court and accused of “working with the Israeli enemy”, “entering occupied Palestinian territory,” and “working with Israeli spies and operatives.” Khatib was arrested in June last year.

Beirut-based al-Akhbar daily reported that Khatib was also accused of facilitating an interview between an Israeli TV channel and Charbel Hage, a Lebanese government opponent based in the United States.

She also stood accused of providing security information about Lebanon to a Kuwaiti intelligence officer whom she met near the Dead Sea, The Daily Star reported.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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