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Lebanon: Family dispute apparent motive of Saudi dissident’s murder, security source says 

Manea al-Yami’s wife was previously married to the victim’s brother who quarrelled with them over children's custody  
Manea al-Yamim, a founding member of the Saudi National Assembly Party (NAAS), was killed in Lebanon on 9 July (Photo credit: Twitter)
Manea al-Yamim, a founding member of the Saudi National Assembly Party (NAAS), was killed in Lebanon on 9 July (Photo credit: Twitter)
By in
Beirut

The murder of a Saudi dissident in Lebanon appears to be motivated by a family dispute, a security source has told Middle East Eye.

Manea al-Yami was stabbed to death on Saturday in his home in Harek Hreik in the southern suburb of the capital Beirut, an area under the security control of Hezbollah.

The 42-year-old, a Saudi Shia government critic, had lived in Lebanon since 2015 with his wife and her three children.

According to a security official with knowledge of the investigations, the wife was previously married to the victim’s brother (identified in the police statement by his initials AM) who lives with his younger brother (identified in the police report by his initials HM) in Hay-Abyad neighbourhood in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Al-Yami had told AM that he can no longer see his three children. 

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On Saturday, the two brothers entered the victim’s house and stabbed him to death with a dagger and ran away, the official told MEE.

According to the medical examiner’s report seen by MEE, he sustained multiple stab wounds which led to his death at around 8:30pm local time.   

The intelligence branch in the internal security forces apprehended the suspects on Saturday with the weapon of murder.

According to the security official, AM admitted to committing the crime but denied that his younger brother was an accomplice.

The victim's wife said the crime was committed by both brothers in her police testimony.

The security official denied to MEE any drug-related matters to the crime, contrary to some earlier reports. 

Al-Yami was known to security forces as a Saudi dissident living in the area where government critics usually take refuge, due to its political affiliations with Hezbollah, the source said.

Saudi state 'responsible'

Al-Yami had been active in his opposition to the Saudi government since he moved to Lebanon in 2015. 

In December that year, he launched an NGO with the name “Right and Justice Movement”. 

Later, he helped found the National Assembly Party (NAAS), an opposition group founded by Saudis living in exile

“Al-Yami adopted the party's principles of seeking democracy, resisting tyranny, establishing rights and freedoms, and resisting sectarianism and separatist tendencies,” the group said in a statement

Al-Yami had been seeking asylum abroad due to security concerns in Lebanon that forced him to keep his work largely under the radar. 

He lived in Beirut as a registered UN refugee along with his family.   

NAAS said while it awaits further information from Lebanese security agencies, it held the Saudi state responsible for forcing its citizens into unsafe exile.

“The party demands a fair, clear and transparent investigation into the case that shows the details and circumstances of the incident to find out who is behind this heinous crime,” it said.