Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

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February 7/2006

For Immediate Release

It is time for the UN to deploy troops in Lebanon to protect its multicultural society

We staunchly denounce the savage, criminal and terrorist assault of fanaticism, backwardness, hatred and cruelty that took place yesterday in Lebanon against the Christian residents of Ashrafiyeh.

There is no doubt that our homeland Lebanon has witnessed a manifestation of an evil fundamentalist plot against its unity, stability, and safety and the coexistence of its multicultural mosaic society. Thanks to the wisdom, patriotism, courage and
tolerance of the predominantly Christian residents of the Ashrafiyeh suburb of East Beirut, and to Lebanese Christians in general, the country was spared a fatal sectarian confrontation by their courageous self-restraint when they suddenly found themselves and their suburb as defendless targets of an angry Muslim riot.

We hail the spontaneous, genuine and sincere efforts exerted by many Lebanese Christian and Muslim religious and political leaders who worked hard to contain and diffuse the conspiracy and abort its vicious destructive aims. Their public appeals for
calm and self-restraint were extremely effective and have safeguarded the stability of Lebanon and the safety of its people.

We call on the Lebanese government, officials, clergy, politicians and political parties to patriotically and wisely utilize all means currently at their disposal, locally, regionally and internationally to instantly and without hesitation start implementing all
remaining clauses of both the "Taef Accord" and UN Resolution 1559. Both call for the strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries, the immediate, full and
unconditional disarmament of all Lebanese and non Lebanese militias among which are Hezbollah or "Party of God" and all Palestinian militias, the sole deployment of the Lebanese army on all Lebanese territories and Lebanon's border with both its
neighboring countries, Syria and Israel, and the fulfillment of the Israeli - Lebanese UN Armistice Agreement.

If within few months and in spite of all efforts the Lebanese government fails to secure the implementation of both the "Taef Accord" and UN Resolution 1559, its officials should make the Lebanese fully aware of this fact and officially call on the UN Council to expand the mission of its peacekeeping troops (stationed currently in South Lebanon) to cover all Lebanese
territories and protect its unarmed communities, especially the Christian community, who has been lately the target of terrorist and fundamentalist assaults.

Meanwhile we caution that there cannot be, neither in Lebanon nor in the whole Middle East, any justice, peace, security, stability, or protection of freedoms and democracy, in the presence of states and cantons within the State of Lebanon, as is today the imposed status quo in South Lebanon, the Beirut southern suburb, the Palestinian camps and in several other
Lebanese regions.

We assure our beloved people in Lebanon that the support of the Lebanese Diaspora's communities for their human rights, freedoms, democracy and safety will always remain an obligation and a priority.
Thousands of angry Muslim demonstrators swarmed yesterday into the Ashrafiyeh Christian suburb, as they headed to the Danish Consulate to protest the publishing of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed in Danish and other European newspapers. The demonstration, according to Lebanese Security officials, was infiltrated by rogue elements, mostly
non Lebanese who had brought with them tear gas and fireworks to cause trouble. They were able to overcome
the internal forces barricades, set the building housing the Austrian and Danish Mission on fire, attack a nearby Maronite Catholic Church and assault its parishioners, harass, terrorize, insult and assault citizens, vandalize hundreds of cars and
office buildings, and violently take control of some vehicles belonging to the Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese army, hurl stones at shops and residential buildings and extensively damage public property. Demonstrators also attacked police officers with stones and set fire to several fire engines. Lebanese security forces regained control over the area within two hours, using water cannons and bullets fired over protesters' heads. Twenty one members of the country's internal security forces, and thirty of the demonstrators were injured. One demonstrator was found dead in the Danish Mission, and 320 rioters
mostly non Lebanese were arrested.

CLHRF Spokesman
Elias Bejjani