Lebanese activist Kinda el Khatib has been charged in military court with collaborating with Israel, authorities announced Monday, following several days of official silence and widespread speculation following her arrest on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Khatib’s family and supporters maintained her innocence and staged a protest outside of the military court in Beirut demanding her release.
Kinda al-Khatib's arrest comes in wake of spate of recent prosecutions targeting individuals peacefully voicing their criticism of the government on social media.— Aya Majzoub (@Aya_Majzoub) June 22, 2020
Comparisons being made to Ziad Itani - falsely accused of spying for Israel & forcibly disappeared and tortured.
Itani himself wrote on Facebook that he had been reluctant to comment on Khatib’s case without having heard from the defendant herself. He cautioned against a rush to judgment, even among those who disagree with Khatib’s political views.
“As for the tweets that Kinda writes and the positions that she speaks about, perhaps I don't agree with everything she says, but I wish that the political positions of any person would not make us abandon him and drop the presumption of innocence, and I wish that what we would not wish for any person to be an agent of the occupation, even our biggest opponents in politics,” he wrote. “I hope that Kinda is innocent, and that there is not among us one single agent or one oppressed person.”