Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is calling for sanctions against Lebanese officials stemming from that country’s arrest and continued detention of a Dover resident.
Amer Fakhoury, 56, was arrested last September after returning to Beirut for the first time in nearly two decades. A U.S. citizen, Fakhoury and his family operated a restaurant in Dover until his arrest.
Lebanese officials allege that while Fakhoury served in the South Lebanon Army in the 1990s, he participated in the torture and killing of inmates inside the notorious Khiam prison.
U.S. officials deny the allegations and are calling for his immediate release.
We are “confident he is not who they say he is,” said a policy advisor for Shaheen during a phone call with reporters.
Shaheen, along with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are introducing a sanctions bill against Lebanese officials that would put a ban on their visas and freeze assets, though no specific members of the Lebanese government are named in the legislation.
Fakhoury’s U.S. passport was confiscated upon his arrival in Lebanon last September. He was allegedly beaten by security personnel, resulting in broken ribs. While receiving medical treatment, he was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma, and is described as gravely ill.
After initially being detained in a prison, he is now inside of a private hospital monitored by guards.
Shaheen has been advocating for Fakhoury’s release since November.
Her policy advisors say there is no evidence linking Fakhoury to the alleged crimes, and that Trump Administration officials, as well as embassy staff in Lebanon are working in collaboration to secure his release.