Lebanon releases activist charged for collaborating with Israel

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A military court in Lebanon has approved a request to release Kinda al-Khatib, an activist who was previously charged for collaborating with Israel, the state-run National News agency reported Tuesday.

Khatib’s release on bail for 3 million Lebanese pounds ($2,000 at the official exchange rate) comes one year after her arrest.

The military court had previously imposed a three-year prison sentence against her.

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Lebanon and Israel are technically at war, and Lebanese citizens are prohibited from entering Israel or communicating with Israeli citizens.

Upon her release, al-Khatib said in a video that she was happy to see some roads blocked by protestors due to the worsening economic situation. “This means that freedom still exists in this country .” Lebanon has been facing an unprecedented crisis with approximately 1.7 million people estimated to have fallen under the poverty line.

“I am the daughter of Akkar region; Akkar shouldn’t be treated with injustice. It is unjust to say that the region of Akkar is a collaborator [with Israel]. Akkar is home to the biggest number of Lebanese Army soldiers,” she said.

Khatib left the women’s prison at the Barbar El Khazen police station in Beirut and headed to the her hometown in Akkar, accompanied by her brother.

Military Tribunal Judge Fadi Akiki had charged Khatib with collaborating with “the enemy,” entering the occupied Palestinian territories, and dealing with Israeli spies and those working for Israel’s interests.

Khatib’s family and supporters insisted on her innocence and staged multiple protests over the past year demanding her release.

After Khatib’s arrest from her home in Akkar, her supporters speculated that she had been targeted because of her social media posts criticizing Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun.

Meanwhile, opponents of hers alleged that she had been arrested for actual charges of spying for Israel.

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