Abducted Lebanese pilgrim slams deportation of 14 Syrians

One of the Lebanese Shiite pilgrims abducted in Syria said on Monday that it was “shameful” for Prime Minister Najib Mikati to deport over 14 Syrians who fled to Lebanon back to their country.

Abbas Shoueib also called on the Lebanese people and officials to follow up on the case of their abduction, adding that none of the Lebanese leaders made contacts with the abductors.

“[President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Speaker Nabih Berri did not bother to] contact the abductors, and they are acting as if there were no kidnapping,” Shoueib told New TV.

He also said that it if the Lebanese leaders contact the abductors, it would resolve the whole issue.

The abducted Lebanese man called on his country’s cabinet to recognize the rebels and any post-Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.

Shoueib added that the abductees were communicating with their Lebanese relatives with a Turkish line because the country’s cellular network was better than the Syrian one.

“We call on Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri, MP Oqab Saqr and the Higher Islamic Council to take action and help release us.”

Shoueib also conveyed a message in the name of his abductors.

“The Lebanese media outlets can visit the abductees in Turkey and bring the abductee’s families to see them,” Shoueib quoted his abductors as saying.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition group that kidnapped the Lebanese pilgrims—identified as Abu Ibrahim—called on journalists, artists and singers to convey messages from the Syrian people to the Lebanese people.

“We call on journalists, artists and singers to enter through the gate of peace to the Turkish-Syrian border and send messages from the Syrian people to the Lebanese people,” Abu Ibrahim told LBC television.

In May, 11 Shiite pilgrims were abducted in Syria’s Aleppo while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran. Later in the month, a previously unknown armed group calling itself the “Syrian Revolutionaries—Aleppo Province” said that it was holding the group, while the Free Syrian Army had repeatedly denied its involvement in the abduction.

On Wednesday, Lebanon deported 14 Syrians despite the raging violence over the border, drawing criticism from human rights activists.

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