Assad Thugs Terrorize Syrian Activists in Foreign Land(Naharnet)
The group — Lebanese in solidarity with the dignity and freedom of the Syrian people — was obliged to hold the gathering in a warehouse instead.
“This was the only space we could find,” Mashnouk told Agence France Presse in the unfinished warehouse with unpainted cement walls and bare concrete floors in Sin al-Fil, a suburb east of the capital.
The warehouse had been hastily filled with chairs and a table to host around 100 journalists, along with MPs and politicians of the March 14 camp.
“We had been turned away by the Bristol Hotel,” a major hotel in the capital Beirut, Mashnouk said.
The Bristol Hotel last week issued a statement explaining it had declined to host the group to “ensure the safety of the hotel’s guests and staff.”
The organizers of Tuesday’s conference said that the hotel had canceled their reservation after management had received threats from activists supportive of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“Today’s conference shows that threats and intimidation will not scare us,” said Mashnouk.
A press release issued after Tuesday’s conference called on the Syrian regime to “immediately end the massacres against its own people” and “stop its ongoing attempts to transfer its crisis into Lebanon through its fabricated accusations.”
Beirut has been the scene of several face-offs between rival rallies both for and against Assad, with security forces regularly dispersing the demonstrations.
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