BEIRUT (AP) – A group of Lebanese citizens detained in the United Arab Emirates have been released, Lebanon’s foreign ministry has announced.
Lebanon’s ambassador to the UAE notified the ministry of the release of 10 Lebanese detainees who had been arrested there about two months ago, the ministry said in a statement.
The release comes after the death earlier this month of a Lebanese man who was detained in the UAE on unknown charges. A committee of family members of Lebanese citizens detained in the UAE alleged in a statement that Ghazi Ezzedine, 55, had died under torture, and rights groups raised concerns about the Emirati government’s lack of transparency regarding Ezzedine’s case and the linked detentions.
Emirati authorities have not commented on the case or on the release of the other detainees.
Afif Shouman, head of a group of Lebanese families with relatives detained in the Persian Gulf country, said seven Lebanese citizens remain detained in the UAE, none of whom have been convicted of a crime, and called for their release.
UAE authorities have detained dozens of Lebanese in the past.
In 2019, the UAE sentenced one Lebanese national to life in prison and two to ten years in prison.
Amnesty International said in a statement at the time the trial of the men “failed to meet international fair trial standards,” as the evidence included confessions that were “extracted under duress, and the defendants were detained incommunicado for months and denied access to lawyers during interrogation and investigation.”