I published this open letter on 16 July 2012. The present tragedy in Tripoli and the declarations of Mikati make it necessary to publish it again. For the man who is leading now the battle against the Lebanese army in Tripoli is that same Shadi Mawlawi who was freed two years ago, in a way that was both unbelievable and unacceptable:
M. Prime Minister
A few weeks ago, Shadi Mawlawi was arrested in a building that belongs to Minister Safadi. Because of that, the Salafis inflicted their war on Tripoli, your city.
It is the judiciary’s business to say if the charges against Mawlawi are true or not. It is not mine. However, I have the right to refuse to believe that a man is innocent, when, with his consent, his friends free him from prison by putting his city at war, killing five persons, and wounding many others. A man who has nothing to do with crime, does not thank his friends because they killed innocent people for his sake. By doing that, he becomes their accomplice and bears the responsibility of their murders.
The judiciary freed him because of pressures laid by you, M. Mikati, and by M. Muhammad Safadi.
Both of you are very rich men. Each of you fears the loss of some of his wealth. Each of you prepares for the coming elections. I understand all that. But it is my duty to tell you the truth, however rich you are, however close the elections are. It is not honorable for a Lebanese Prime minister, to protect the murderers of innocent people, at the expense of security, of the Army, and of the citizens of Tripoli. Your duty is to punish these murderers and to impose law and order. This is the desire of the silent majority in Tripoli. And Tripoli is the second city of Lebanon. It deserves peace like Beirut, M. Prime Minister.
You were not content with protecting murderers by laying pressure on the Judiciary in order to free Shadi Mawlawi. You weakened the State’s authority even more, by opposing the Lebanese Army to the Lebanese Security Forces in Tripoli. So Mawlawi could say that “the Lebanese State cannot afford not to please the Sunnis”, as if the honorable community to which he belongs was superior to the other Lebanese communities.
The ministers rushed to the Tribunal, each one offering Shadi Mawlawi the service of his car. Thus rush the taxi chauffeurs at the airport, when they see a traveler.
Safadi won the contest. Mawlawi used his ministerial car, which transported him to Tripoli.
Your car, M. Prime minister, was refused. But you had Mawlawi visit you at your home. We read in some newspapers that you offered him ten thousand dollars. However, your office denied it afterwards.
True or false, the matter would have caused you much harm, if it had become the talk of the town.
Then came the time of the annual commemoration of the massacre of Halba. The massacre of Halba cannot be explained in confessional terms, because both the murderers and the victims were of the same religion (Sunni). The Salafis, however, decided to organize another celebration in a nearby place.
The Army was sent to prevent people from bringing guns, in order to protect every person who would participate in one of the two celebrations.
As we all know, when the Army is sent to make a roadblock, it receives the order to fire on the tires of every car whose driver refuses to stop. And the Army is supposed to fire on the people that are inside if they go on their way or if they charge the soldiers.
In Kueikhat, a two car convoy passed. One of these cars contained a great number of guns in its trunk. And its driver did not stop when the soldiers ordered him to. The occupants of the car even fired at the soldiers, and wounded one of them. The soldiers fired back, and killed two Salafi ulamas. One of them was Sheik Ahmad Abdul-Wahid, who is well known for having smuggled arms in order to help the Fatah al-Islam (an al-Qaida Palestinian organization) against the Lebanese Army in the battle of Nahr al-Bared.
The photos of the wounded Lebanese soldier were not communicated to the press. Why? Because they would have proved that the Army did its duty, and that the soldiers were shot at before shooting?
Pressure laid by the rabble, and also by you, M. Prime Minister, led to the arrest of the soldiers and officers who obeyed orders.
The Army did not do anything to defend them. Why? Maybe for fear of some politicians who draw their strength and their financing from serving foreign powers. But the Lebanese military also are in need of security. Security when they obey orders. If these orders were bad, you should have punished those who gave them, not those who obeyed.
Thus you freed the man charged with crime, and threw in jail those who obeyed orders. After that, M. Mikati, you decided to free the Salafists who were arrested because of the Nahr al-Barid events. To justify the interest you and the Minister of the Interior had in freeing them — and not the others — it was said that they had been in jail for five years.
We want the law to be implemented. We want people to be freed after having been arrested for a time, if they have not been judged. But why should you free the Salafist Moslems and not the Moslems who are not Salafist? Why should you free the Salafist Moslems and not the people belonging to other communities? Indeed, in the prison of Roumieh, there are men who have been waiting for seven years or more, and they still have not been judged. Among them, some have been arrested for stealing 100.000 Lebanese pounds only ($75) and not because they belong to a terrorist organization that has killed Lebanese civilians and soldiers.
A few days later, the First Military Investigation Magistrate, Riad Abou Ghida, freed the military officers who had been arrested after the death of Sheikh Ahmad Abdul-Wahid and his companion. Then the Salafists threatened to blow up Tripoli and the North. Then you intervened, you, M. Prime Minister who never cease to fear for your electoral popularity in Tripoli, and for your billions of dollars invested in the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. And the First Military Investigation Magistrate arrested again the military officers.
In no other country is such a tyrannical act allowed, M. Mikati. Its purpose is to ruin the Army morale so that it stops defending the country. So Lebanon becomes defenseless when time comes to transform it into… into what? Perhaps into that Salafist Islamic Republic claimed by those who demonstrated against the liberation of the military officers.
It would have been less harmful to the State’s reputation, not to have freed the military officers at all.
Now, the majority of all religions in Lebanon, is angry. But will you listen to its voice, to the voice of conscience more than to the voice of the minority that burns tires and kills the innocent?
M. Mikati, do you rule over the Republic of Al Capone, which defends murderers and abandons the innocent majority?
Lina Murr Nehme
This open letter was published by Elnashra, on 16 July 2012. Safadi answered me, through the same media. He did not deny anything I had written, he only said that Shadi Mawlawi did not use his car to go to Tripoli. But I ask Safadi why he did not contradict the television reporters at that time, when they were saying, live, that Mawlawi used his car?Email Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google+ Linkedin