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Lebanon jails Sunni scholar for life over alleged Daesh affiliation

Islamic scholar Bassam Al-Tarras, 9 November 2016 [Insight Club AUB/Facebook]
Islamic scholar Bassam Al-Tarras, 9 November 2016 [Insight Club AUB/Facebook]

A Lebanese court sentenced a Sunni scholar to life and hard labour after finding him guilty of being affiliated with Daesh, local media outlets reported.

Bassam Al-Tarras, the former mufti of the Rashya neighbourhood in Al-Beqaa District, was sentenced in absentia over his alleged ties to Daesh, involvement in its operations and for encouraging others to join the militant group.

The court also convicted and sentenced Mohamed Al-Ahmed, who is known as Abu Youssef, and Mahmoud Rabei, a Syrian national.

The court ordered the arrest of all three defendants.

The ruling stirred outrage among Lebanese activists on social media, according to the regional news website Arabi21. Many accused authorities of bias toward the Shia Hezbollah and against Sunni scholars who criticise the government.

READ: Extremist groups grow and adapt despite ‘war on terror’, warns US report 

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