News broke out in Lebanon on Friday of the authorities’ arrest of Abdullah Yasser Sabawi al-Hassan, the grandson of Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, the step-brother of late Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.
Abdullah was arrested according to an Interpol arrest warrant that was requested by Iraq.
He was detained in Lebanon on July 11, revealed Saddam’s nephew, Saad Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan through posts on social media.
He pleaded with Arab and international rights groups to intervene to determine the fate of his nephew, whom he was said was “spitefully” arrested.
Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim was quick to respond to the post, telling Iraqi television that he was arrested on charges of “carrying out criminal acts that left thousands dead.”
“We are working according to international law and repatriation agreements between nations,” he added.
He stressed that Iraq is a fraternal state to Lebanon and “we reject any act of impunity. We support the implementation of the law without any pressure. This is our duty towards the people of Iraq.”
In an attempt to cast doubt over the charges against Abdullah, Saad said his nephew had left Iraq in 2003 when he was just eight years of age.
He has since never returned to his country for several reasons, including being deprived of Iraqi nationality and all of his civil rights, continued Saad.
Abdullah had joined Saad when he was living in Yemen, which they were forced to quit due to the worsening security situation.
Abddullah chose to settle down in Lebanon, revealed Saad.
Upon his arrival, he was keen on submitting a request for protection from the United Nations. His request was approved.
Abdullah holds another nationality that is non-Iraqi. He lived in Lebanon for four years without coming under any harassment of pressure. He lived a calm life and did not cause any security or political tensions, continued Saad.
An informed judicial source in Lebanon revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that General Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat had received an Iraqi notice for Abdullah’s arrest through Interpol.
He ordered that Abdullah be arrested as soon as he was found.
After his arrest, he was turned over to the General Security, which will determine whether it is still legal for him to remain in Lebanon or whether he should be deported.
The source revealed that both Iraq and Yemen are demanding that he be turned over to them.
The decision now lies in the hands of the General Security chief and the judiciary is no longer involved, it added.
Abdullah’s family fears for his safety should be deported to Iraq.
Saad appealed to international organizations to intervene and “free” him.