Anger in Lebanon over naming a street after one of the main suspects in Hariri’s assassination

On Monday, Lebanese activists circulated a picture of a street in the southern suburb of Beirut which has been named after Mustafa Badreddine, a military leader of Hezbollah and one of the main suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The vastly circulated photograph caused a wave of anger and calls to remove the street name immediately as it is illegal, for naming a street requires an authorisation from the Ministry of the Interior.

Supporters of Hezbollah believe that no one would dare to remove the name of the street in the southern suburb, the stronghold of Hezbollah. In this respect, the Lebanese political and militant group denies any responsibility for Hariri’s assassination in the 2005 bombing.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nihad Al-Mashnouq declared that he had not signed any authorisation allowing Ghubairi’s municipality to name a street after Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in Syria in May 2016.

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Al-Mashnouq stressed in a statement that he rejects naming the street in such way, and therefore the decision of Ghubairi’s municipality will be rejected by the Ministry of the Interior.

He added that his refusal to sign the resolution to name the street could not be considered a tacit approval, especially when it comes to a political conflict which mingles ideological and security tensions. Hence, the subject matter can disturb public order.

The prosecution team of the Hariri assassination case in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) said last Tuesday that Mustafa Badreddine is the mastermind of the assassination, while the other suspects executed the murder plan.

All the suspects in the assassination, namely Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, Assad Sabra, and Hassan Mari, are prominent members of Hezbollah.