Syria’s embassy denies Hajj abducted a Syrian in Lebanon


The Syrian embassy has denied a report that Lieutenant Salah al-Hajj, son of former Internal Security Forces chief Ali al-Hajj, had kidnapped Syrian citizen Jassem Merhi al-Jassem in Lebanon.

The denial was published in An Nahar daily on Saturday which a day earlier said that the Syrian opposition in Paris accused Lt. Hajj of kidnapping al-Jassem and detaining him in an unidentified location.

The opposition accused al-Hajj, who is in charge of security at the Syrian embassy in Beirut, of handing al-Jassem to the Syrian intelligence or imprisoning him at the embassy, An Nahar said.

The Lebanese army arrested al-Jassem on Feb. 24 in Beirut while he was distributing fliers condemning the Syrian regime, and handed him to the ISF. But he was later released and kidnapped by al-Hajj the same day, the opposition claimed.

This development comes after Future TV reported that 4 Syrian opposition activists were kidnapped in Beirut on Friday . The names of the activists were not revealed by the station.

General Ali al-Hajj ( a staunch ally of Syria and Hezbollah )was arrested (along with 3 other generals) from 2005 to 2009 on suspicion of involvement in former PM Rafik Hariri’s murder. In April 2009, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL ) ordered their release without charges due to insufficient evidence. STL prosecutor made it clear at the time they were set free that their release did not mean they are Innocent and that once more evidence is available they could be back in jail.