'A protest scheduled in central Beirut under the slogan "Bring Saad back" was cancelled on Saturday, following a circular issued by the interior ministry. The demonstration would have been the first collective show of support for Saad Hariri, who is allegedly being detained in Saudi Arabia following his surprise resignation as Lebanon's prime minister on 5 November.
The protest was planned as a row between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon over Hariri's freedom of movement escalated, with the Lebanese president accusing the Gulf-nation of "kidnap".
Warren Sleiman, a civil activist and organiser of the protest, said the idea behind the rally was to send out a message that was collectively shared. "We do not accept the power of other countries on our land," he told Middle East Eye. "What is happening to the prime minister is disrespectful.
However, Sleiman decided to call off the protest after receiving a call from army officials. "They gave their opinion and said they hoped the protest would not go ahead," he said, adding that there was no pressure on their part.'
Read more: 'Bring Saad back' protest cancelled as Lebanon president says Hariri 'kidnapped'
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