Lebanon army arrests and severely beats activist, report


The sister of Lebanese political activist Pierre Hashash said that Lebanese army intelligence officers severely beat her brother and herself before detaining the activist and threatening him over his political activities.

“Troops from army intelligence attacked my brother at a restaurant in [the northern town of] Batroun. One of them hit him on his head with the butt of a rifle without allowing my brother to speak,” Joelle Hashash told NOW on Thursday.

Hashash also said that when she went to visit her brother in detention she heard him scream in pain.

“He was screaming in pain from a head wound and pleading to be taken to the hospital, but he was not [hospitalized].”

Hashash also denied that her brother was arrested for slandering army commander General Jean Qahwaji.

“No one knows the reason behind his arrest in this monstrous way, we have not heard of our brother for two days.”

She also said that the army intelligence members beat her until she lost consciousness when she tried to film the scene of her brother’s arrest.

Hashash added that her brother was “threated by one of the major generals, who told him that he would break his legs if he does not stop his activities in Batroun.”

Meanwhile, Pierre Hashash’s lawyer criticized the manner of the activist’s arrest and told NOW that the army intelligence members were wearing civil clothes and refused to reveal their identity when they arrested him.

“He has the right to be notified that a public authority is arresting him,” Bassem al-Aamm said.

Aamm also said that Hashash has been threatened previously by members of the army intelligence.

Pierre Hashash is a political activist who unsuccessfully ran for the parliamentary elections in Batroun in 2000, 2005. In 2009, he ran for the Maronite seat in Tripoli.

Now Lebanon

Photo: A banner created in support of the campaign to free arrested artist and activist Pierre Hashash (From the ‘STOP Cultural Terrorism in Lebanon’ Facebook page)