HomePoliticsNewsVideo suggests darker cause led to political figure’s death

Video suggests darker cause led to political figure’s death

After initially being labeled as being caused by a car accident, a video seemingly showing the kidnapping of Elias Hasrouny, suggests that he may have actually been murdered.

In a mysterious incident that has shaken the political and local communities, Elias Hasrouny, a prominent figure in Lebanese politics and a former coordinator of the Bint Jbeil region for the Christian Lebanese Forces party, was discovered lifeless beside his vehicle in a secluded forest area. Hasrouni’s passing was confirmed on the same day by the “Bint Jbeilioun” website, reporting that he had succumbed to injuries sustained from a car accident that occurred six days prior.

New evidence, however, suggests that his death may have been more than an accident, though no official confirmation has been made.

What happened, During a condolence gathering in Ain Ebel, Michael Saydaoui, the victim’s nephew, approached Eli Farah, a local resident. In a request that marked a turning point, Saydaoui urged Farah to examine the surveillance footage around his residence. What was uncovered in the footage painted a disconcerting tableau: precisely at 9:16 PM on August 2nd, 2023, a dark-colored Jeep blocked the victim’s car, followed by a gunmetal gray Honda CRV that similarly impeded the victim’s vehicle.

Occupants from the Honda joined the victim in his car, after which all three vehicles sped towards the location of the incident in Haneen. These newfound revelations cast a glaring spotlight on the enigmatic circumstances enshrouding this tragic event.

Imad Lawwas, the Mayor of Ain Ebel, affirmed to Annahar that the videos and camera footage, which have now been circulated on social media, make it clear that there was a well-organized kidnapping operation. The ongoing investigations have not revealed any further updates.

Lawwas then stated, “The kidnappers are almost discernible in the videos, even their cars and colors. With the potential modern techniques at the disposal of the Information Branch, rapid identification of car numbers and kidnappers’ faces is plausible. Hence, our reliance is on both investigation transparency and the Information Branch’s adeptness in uncovering the truth.”

Lawwas elucidated the content of the videos, explaining, “The incident comprised a kidnapping followed by murder. The time gap of approximately 20 minutes between the abduction and the discovery of the victim’s body suggests swift execution of the crime.”

The abduction took place on the road connecting Ain Ebel and Haneen. Hasrouny’s body was located about a kilometer away, along the route between Ain Ebel and Haneen, towards Dableh. This route is commonly traversed by locals. Coincidentally, while the mayor of Haneen was passing by, he noticed his Jeep parked by the roadside. He promptly alerted the municipal police and later the medical assistance linked with the Scout Association, resulting in his transfer to Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil.

Furthermore, Upon discovering the alleged evidence of the kidnapping incident, officials consulted with a forensic doctor to ascertain the cause of death. With the initial findings suggesting a non-violent cause, and given the impending funeral arrangements, they opted to keep the news confidential until after the burial. This approach was taken to ensure that the funeral proceedings could take place without disruption or unnecessary distress and to await the return of a family member from abroad to attend the ceremony. By releasing the footage after the funeral, the authorities aimed to avoid causing any unnecessary upheaval, allowing matters to be handled discreetly.

In conclusion, While only an investigation can unveil the truth, it is crucial to acknowledge the intricate political dynamics in southern Lebanon. If the kidnapping and murder allegations are substantiated, the repercussions could extend beyond the immediate incident. 

The region’s delicate political landscape, coupled with historical tensions among different political entities and religious groups, may lead to heightened violence and instability. The situation has the potential to evolve into a larger-scale conflict, underlining the necessity of handling the situation with utmost care and considering the broader implications before any disclosures.

Dana Hourany is a multimedia journalist with @NOW_leb. She is on Instagram @danahourany and Twitter @danahourany.