Spying for Israel? Is the Lebanese Govt Getting Rid of Opposition Activists by Defaming Them?

Published June 23rd, 2020 - 06:39 GMT
Spying to Israel? Is the Lebanese Govt Getting Rid of Opposition Activists by Defaming Them?
Al-Khatib's family and friends took to the streets demanding her release. (Twitter: @Ram7Leb/ Albawaba: Rami Khoury)

Days after her disappearance, online political activist Kinda Al-Khatib was found as she was arrested by Lebanese military forces and appeared in a military court with charges related to "collaborating with Israel."

Al-Khatib, who is known for publicly opposing the Lebanese government and the role played by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in the country, was arrested based on a recent visit she took with her brother to Jordan, a country that shares accessible borders with Israel. Official charges claim that "Kinda and her brother had made a visit to Israel through Jordan."

Yet, social media activists rejected claims that the 23-year-old Master's student has any ties with Israel, arguing that her arrest is "an arbitrary one that came in revenge following her harsh criticism of Hezbollah."

In Beruit, Al-Khatib's family and friends took to the streets demanding her release and condemning what they described as "authorities' involvement in political rivalries," especially after her brother, Bandar, was released, which "points at an intention to solely target Kinda."

Talking to the press during the family's protest, Bandar stressed that he and his sister never left the Jordanian capital Amman, during their last visit to the country, which can be proved by communicating with the Jordanian authorities.

Pro-Hezbollah Twitter users used the chance to denounce Kinda, who they called a "traitor," saying that she "deserves the arrest after her non-stop attack at the political militant party."

Online people also remembered a 2017 arrest of well-known actor Ziad Itani due to similar Israel-related charges, after an online comment criticizing a prominent security officer with ties to Hezbollah. Social media users argued that "Hezbollah uses accusations of spying to Israel to get rid of critics." 

Itani was released several months later after all charges against him were dropped. 

Translation: "Sounds like we're watching a film similar to that of Ziad Itani; Similar script."


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