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Conflict Incident Report
Extremist sheikh announces hunger strike for general amnesty
A notorious Islamist sheikh incarcerated in Roumieh Prison announced Thursday that he, along with other Islamist prisoners, had begun a hunger strike pending the approval of a general amnesty law.
In a voice recording that was shared by several local media outlets, Sheikh Khaled Hoblos said he would halt the hunger strike only once the amnesty law is signed – “or once one of the three top leaders tells everyone that there will be no general amnesty. Then we will act accordingly.”
The Daily Star could not independently verify the authenticity of the voice note in circulation.
Hoblos was arrested in April 2015 in the northern city of Tripoli in an operation that left notorious Islamist militant Osama Mansour dead.
This operation came as part of a security plan that was put in place in the city at a time when certain neighborhoods were marred by fighting that represented a spillover of tensions from the Syrian conflict.
Hoblos said that the predicament of Islamists in Lebanese prisons could be resolved by the authorities, citing a deal struck in summer 2017 allowing militants entrenched in the northeastern outskirts of Lebanon safe passage out of the country.
“Thus you will be capable of finding a solution for some of those [imprisoned, enabling the release of] thousands of those detained – from all sects in all prisons,” he said. “Engage with religious [figures] from each sect and you will find a solution that fits everyone, in a timely manner.”