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Lebanon: Death of citizen in UAE custody sparks controversy

The death of a Lebanese businessman in the custody of UAE authorities risks further straining relations between the two countries.
This picture taken on on Feb. 1, 2021 shows a view of the downtown Dubai skyline, with Burj Khalifa, as seen from the Dubai Frame vantage point.

BEIRUT — The death of a Lebanese man in Emirati custody earlier this month has sparked controversy in Beirut, as his family attempts to retrieve the body while United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials deny any wrongdoing in the case.

The spat led to a call between the foreign ministers of Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates over the weekend. 

This past March, UAE authorities arrested Lebanese citizen Ghazi Ezzedine, 55, along with eight other people including his two brothers, on unknown charges, according to the human rights organization Amnesty International.

Local reports say Ezzedine died in police custody on May 4 and was buried in the UAE. The family was only notified days later after his son, Fadel, was asked to identify his body at a cemetery in the UAE. He was only allowed to see his father’s face, while the body was kept covered.

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