For Immediate release PR 010828
August 28,2001

Watching a potential murder !
The massive repression by the collaborationist Lebanese government against the legitimate opposition has not ended. Most of the detainees who were apprehended from their homes or in the street after peacefully demonstrating for an end to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon were released last week. However, this did not bring an end to the ongoing human tragedy of Lebanon, now in its third decade. Tony Orient, Antoine Harb & Maroun Nassif still in detention. In particular, one of the dissidents still under detention, Mr. Tony Orient, has gone on a hunger strike aiming to attract attention to the plight of Lebanon and its people.

Mr. Orient is a 25-year old school teacher and a member of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), which has been demanding the withdrawal of Syrian occupation troops from Lebanese soil. The FPM is a loose and grass-roots movement that follows the leadership of Prime Minister General Michel Aoun, who was exiled to France as a result of the Syrian assault in October 13, 1990 against the last free government Lebanon has known. Mr. Orient was sentenced to 45 days in jail for distributing copies of the "Lebanese Bulletin", a publication of the FPM that is published & distributed on the Internet & is commonly aired on TV stations and in the printed media. Mr. Orient is currently in his 6th day of a hunger strike that he began last Thursday when he could not afford the bail imposed by the traitor regime for the release of the detainees. He is denied a private doctor and is now forced to remove his clothes and remain in his underwear. He is also isolated from all other prisoners. He is demanding the following:
The authorities should revoke all sentences issued against all those arrested over the past 3 weeks.
All arbitrary decisions made by the Central Security Council (the pro-Syrian military agency behind the violent attacks) should be rescinded and declared null and void because they violate the Lebanese people’s basic rights for assembly and expression.
Hundreds of people, among them Tony’s mother, gathered in front of the Roumieh jail today stating that they will stay there until Tony is released. However the regime sent in army and police forcing the people to disperse. Mrs. Orient had a nervous breakdown and was taken to the hospital where she is still being treated.
CLAO calls upon all Human Rights Organizations, the US Administration, the United Nations, and all friends of a free Lebanon to recognize that Lebanon’s agony must end. The Lebanese people have suffered enough from the wars of others on their land, and most importantly from the conspiracy of silence of the international community. Syria must follow the example of Israel and remove its forces from Lebanese territories. Lebanon must be allowed to return to its liberal traditions and must not remain hostage to the Stalinist Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, heir to the dictatorial throne in Damascus.
CLAO calls upon you, Leaders of the free world, to stop this massive Human Rights abuse and release Tony Orient and his friends, and to release Lebanon, The hostage, from the grip of the occupation regime in Damascus by implementing UN Resolution 520.