Lebanon arrests activist who Hezbollah supporters accuse of spying for Israel

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Lebanon has arrested an activist after Hezbollah supporters accused her on social media of being an Israeli spy, according to local media reports.

Kinda Alkhatib, a 23-year-old activist known to voice her opinions against the Shia political group, was arrested in the north of Lebanon for allegedly “communicating with the Israeli enemy.” Her brother Bandar was also taken into custody but was released after no evidence was found against him.

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Alkhatib’s sister is heard saying in a video on social media that the 23-year-old’s Twitter account had been hacked in order to frame her as a spy and get her arrested.

“My sister is not a spy and she did not confess to anything,” Bandar said, according to local media reports. “She will be released soon.”

Alkhatib’s arrest has caused an uproar in Lebanon and on social media, with activists saying her arrest was in retaliation for her criticism of Hezbollah.

She is accused of “communicating with the enemy” during a 2019 visit to the “occupied territories” even though Alkhatib’s sister said she was on a tourism trip to Jordan during that time, not the West Bank.

She allegedly gave security information to the Israeli army, according to the accusations. However, Alkhatib’s sister pointed out that the accusations have changed substantially. They first said she visited Palestine eight times, before reducing the number to three times, and now finally only accusing her of visiting once.

Alkhatib is undergoing investigation from General Security, after which she may be referred to a military prosecutor on Monday or released.

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