Interpol denies receiving alert from Syria for top Lebanese Christian leader


Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has said he wants pro-Assad Syrians to be sent home

FILE PHOTO : Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces leader called for sending home all pro-Assad Syrians, since all the Syrians that fled to Lebanon were supposed to be opposed to the Syrian regime

Nada AlTaher

Interpol has denied receiving a Red Notice alert for the head of the Lebanese Forces party from the Syrian authorities.

“There has been no Red Notice request, nor any type of request, from Damascus for Samir Geagea,” the international police organisation told The National.

Pro-Syrian government social media accounts on Tuesday claimed that Mr Geagea was responsible for violence against Syrians in Lebanon earlier this year.

Mobs attacked Syrians who were trying to vote at their embassy in May’s presidential election. Violence took place in Baabda, Beirut and several other parts of the country.

At the time, Mr Geagea called on the Lebanese authorities to send those who voted for President Bashar Al Assad back to Syria because he believed they did not qualify as refugees.

The Syrian government has since said it compensated the victims of the attacks.

Red Notices can be issued by Interpol member countries but must be reviewed by the organisation before any decision is made.

Interpol has been compared to a bulletin board for governments to alert foreign police forces to internationally wanted fugitives, rather than an organisation with powers of arrest.

It recently took a step towards resuming co-operation with Syria, allowing it to send and receive messages from other member countries. Syria’s access rights were suspended in 2012 in what Interpol called a “corrective measure”.

Syria has been a member of Interpol since 1953.