A large crowd took part in a rally in support of Archbishop Hilarion Capucci at the UNESCO theatre in Beirut, Lebanon on Saturday (6 March).
GV EXTERIOR UNESCO Theatre with people entering (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR audience seated (2 shots)
GV Children in national costume singing
SV PAN Yassir Arafat arrives on stage (good sound)
SV Members of audience (clergy)
SV Kamal Joumblatt speaks and audience cheers (2 shots)
Initials RH/0225 RH/AB/JB/0245
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Background: A large crowd took part in a rally in support of Archbishop Hilarion Capucci at the UNESCO theatre in Beirut, Lebanon on Saturday (6 March). Archbishop Capucci, former h???d of the Greek Catholic Church in Jerusalem, is currently serving a 12 year pri???n ???ntonce in Israel for gunrunning.
The 42 year old Syrian born archbishop was found guilty and sentenced in an Israeli District Court in December 1974 on three counts of performing illegal services for Arab guerrillas.
Although the Vatican has refused to deny rumours that it intends pressing for Archbishop Capucci's release it is known that the leader of the Catholic world, Pope Paul the 6th, sent a personal letter to the archbishop last September.
At Saturday's four hour rally leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yassir Arafat received an enthusiastic welcome as he arrived to take part. Lebanese leaders from both Moslem and Christian faiths as well as Lebanese political figures were also there.
Prime Minister Rachid Karami was unable to attend as he was away from the city but he was represented by the Lebanese Minister for Education, Kamal Bohsali.
One of the speakers was politician, Kamal Joumblatt, who told the crowd that all Lebanese should be inspired by the example set by Archbishop Capucci.
SYNOPSIS: The UNESCO theatre in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, where a large crowd attended a rally in support of imprisoned Archbishop Hilarion Capucci on Saturday.
The forty two year old archbishop - former head of the Greek Catholic Church in Jerusalem - was found guilty on three counts of illegally carrying and possessing weapons for Arab guerillas in nineteen seventy four by an Israeli district court.
It is known that Pope Paul has written a personal letter to Archbishop Capucci, who is in Israeli jail, and so far the Vatican hasn't denied speculation by Israeli authorities that the Vatican will press for Archbishop Capucci's release.
When the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yassir Arafat arrived at Saturday's rally he received an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd.
In all the rally went on for four hours and was addressed by leading Lebanese political figures.
Leaders of both the Christian and Moslem communities were also there to lend support.
Lebanese politician, Kamal Joumblatt, spoke to the crowd at length.
He told his audience that all Lebanese should be inspired by the example of Archbishop Capucci.
Lebanese Prime Minister Rachid Karami was unable to attend the rally but was represented by Education Minister Kamal Bohsali.