Lebanese hunter 'kidnapped, tortured and murdered' by Syrian regime
A Lebanese man who died last week after being allegedly attacked by Syrian regime forces near the border was tortured before being killed, Lebanon's Future Movement claimed on Monday.
Hussein al-Hujeiri was allegedly shot on Thursday by Syrian regime troops after going out on a hunting trip with two friends in Lebanon's Arsal border region, local media reported last week.
The three men had reportedly been hunting partridges with nets and were not armed.
His companions Wissam Kranbi and Nayef Rayed are reportedly still missing after being "abducted" by regime forces.
Hujeiri's body was returned to Lebanon on Saturday and laid to rest the following day.
The Arsal branch of the Future Movement, a political party led by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, on Sunday accused the Syrian regime of "torturing" Hujeiri before killing him.
His body, retrieved by Lebanon's state security branch, displayed classic marks of torture, as well as a serious head wound, according to the statement published by Lebanon's state news agency.
Hujeiri "fell victim" to "Syria's criminal regime", the statement said, after the group was "kidnapped" within Lebanese territory and taken into Syria.
The party added that it was working in tandem with Lebanon's state security agency to determine the whereabouts of Kranbi and Rayed.
Arsal Mustaqbal MP accused the Syrian regime of attempting to regain control over Lebanon, which the regime occupied from 1976 until 2005.
"We tell this regime: you will not return to our country. Your presence was a bad era in the history of Lebanon... Lebanon has sovereignty, freedom and independence," MP Bakr al-Hujeiri said in a speech at Sunday's funeral.
The Future Movement Arsal branch also called for the Lebanese state to step up border protections, warning of further incursions by Syrian regime forces.
"Arsal cannot accept the continuation of this dangerous situation on its border," it said.