The Council of
Lebanese American Organizations (CLAO) has contacted members of the U.S. House of
Representatives with the facts on the oppression on legally constituted operations by the
Syrian backed forces. Here is an example of what one congressman forwarded on to the U.S.
Secretary of State.
August 7, 2001
The Honorable Colin Powell
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Powell:
I write to express my deep concern with the arrest of at least 150 members of the Lebanese opposition by Lebanese security services. The arrests of these opponents of the Syrian-backed government, including several student political leaders, represent an attack on the nascent grass roots popular movement pressing for greater pluralism in Lebanon. United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 calls for the "strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon." By demanding Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon, these members of the opposition are merely pressing for the full implementation of the mandates of the Security Council. Moreover, the arrests of these individuals are an attack on the Lebanese people and their right of political expression. As a member of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, I urge you to vociferously condemn the arrests of the 150 Lebanese citizens and call for their immediate release. Thank you for your immediate attention to this pressing matter.
Sincerely, Eliot L. Engel Member of Congress