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Lebanese composer Samir Sfeir missing in Saudi Arabia: Reports

Saudis silent on whereabouts of renowned musician, who sources believe has been detained in the kingdom for unknown reasons
Samir Sfeir (right) with President Michel Aoun of Lebanon (left). Sfeir has angered some Saudis by criticising the kingdom's record on terrorism (Reuters)

A Lebanese music composer close to the party of President Michel Aoun is believed to be detained in Saudi Arabia for unknown reasons, according to local media reports confirmed by two sources close to the composer and a security source.

An official source said Lebanon's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants had tried to ask Saudi authorities about the whereabouts of Samir Sfeir, a well-known musician who has sung about Aoun.

The Lebanese foreign ministry declined to comment, Reuters reported. Saudi Arabia's government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An MP from Aoun's political party, Salim Aoun, tweeted on Tuesday, asking: "Where is Samir Sfeir?" with a hashtag calling for his "freedom".

Local media said that the musician was believed to be detained in Saudi Arabia, where he has residence.

Sfeir faced a backlash among Saudis on social media earlier this year when he shared a photo of himself getting a Covid-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia. 

The post angered some, who accused Sfeir of benefiting from the kingdom's services despite his past comments alluding to Saudi Arabia exporting terrorism, an allegation the kingdom denies.