Lebanese Druze figures on Thursday organized a gathering to voice support for Syrian national Shebli Ayssami, a leading Syrian opposition member and one of the original founders of the Syrian Baath Party who disappeared in Lebanon last May.
Participants at the gathering included Druze spiritual leader Sheikh el Aql Naim Hassan, Progressive Socialist Party MP Akram Chehayeb, MP Talal Arslan’s representative Salim Hamadeh of the Lebanese Democratic party, as well as other Druze figures.
Chehayeb told the gathering : “We reject the logic of who is not with us should be either kidnapped, jailed or killed “.
Sheikh Hassan urged the Lebanese authorities to spare no effort in uncovering the truth behind the disappearance.
“The Participants in the gathering called for uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of Ayssami,” National News Agency (NNA) reported.
Ayssami, a prominent member of the Syrian Druze community fled his native Syria in 1966 over political differences with president Hafez al Assad ( father of the embattled Syrian president Bashar al Assad ) and has since lived in Iraq, Egypt and the United States and has not reportedly been involved in politics since 1992. He went missing on May 26 amid “mysterious circumstances ” from the town of Aley a summer mountain resort , east of the capital Beirut .
Ayssami reportedly arrived in Lebanon on May 19 with his Syrian wife from the US to spend the summer in Aley , where his daughter Raja Sharafeddine , who is married to a local resident lives.
“At first I thought it was an accident, given my father’s age,” Mrs. Sharafeddine told AFP Last May
“But in light of the role he played in politics, we now think it may be an abduction,” she said without elaborating.