One of the few survivors of a migrant shipwreck that took place off the Syrian coastline in September has been released and repatriated to Lebanon after he was detained by Syrian authorities.
First he survived the worst shipwreck in decades between Syria and Lebanon, then he was arrested and finally repatriated: this is the odyssey of the Lebanese national, Fuad Hoblos, who returned home on December 1, after having been detained in a Syrian military hospital for over eight weeks.
According to security sources mentioned by Lebanese TV, Syrian authorities finally allowed Hoblos to return to Lebanon.
He was on a boat, crammed with approximately another 150 migrants of different nationalities: Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, many of them women and children, all of them fleeing to Italy on September 22.
One of the few survivors of a tragedy
Among those on board, only 21 persons survived, six of them are Lebanese, three are Palestinian and 12 are Syrian. All of them come from areas, both Syrian and Lebanese, which were severely hit by the unprecedented socio-economic crisis that exploded in Lebanon and in war-torn Syria after 11 years of war.
Some of the 12 Syrians who survived were arrested by authorities in Damascus together with Hoblos, who comes from Tripoli, in the north of Lebanon.
Released thanks to negotiations by Muslim religious dignitaries
Some of the persons who were arrested were later released, while others went missing in the Syrian prisons, as reported by the Syrian National Observatory for Human Rights in Syria.
According to Lebanese media, Hoblos was wanted in Lebanon for "arms trafficking" and "affiliation to extremist groups".
In addition, media affirmed that the former prisoner returned to Lebanon through the coastal path of Arida, thanks to the negotiation of Muslim religious dignitaries from Tripoli.