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What a shame? A Canadian Citizen held arbitrarily in a Lebanese prison
The CLHRF strongly denounces the arbitrary detention of the Canadian citizen, Mr. Bruce Balfour, by the Lebanese judiciary authorities since July 10/03 without any kind of charges or trial. The shame in this Human Rights atrocity lies in its shameless infringement on the rights of a Canadian citizen who has been working hard, as a volunteer to help in a reforestation Lebanese project, aiming to replant the biblical cedars of Lebanon, in association with the Maranatha Evangelistic Association.

Mr. Bruce Balfour was arbitrarily arrested at the Beirut International Airport without charges, while the Canadian Consulate in Beirut was not made aware of his detention until ten days after the fact when "an informant" in Lebanon contacted friends in Canada about the situation. This kind of heretic conduct by the Lebanese authorities is strongly condemned by the CLHRF and should be dealt with appropriately by the Canadian government.

It is worth mentioning that the Lebanese Syrian installed regime is extremely notorious in its horrible inhuman infringes on the basic Human Rights of the Lebanese people in all domains, especially freedom of expression. Last Saturday its security forces and militias led by the Minister of Interior's father, who is also an MP, physically assaulted and threatened a number of Lebanese opposition prominent politicians, dignitaries and journalists. These opposition figures were prevented by force from participating in a social gathering. Meanwhile arbitrary detention, harassment and persecution is an on going practice against all Lebanese citizens who oppose the current occupational Syrian imposed status quo.

The CLHRF calls on the Canadian government to urgently take all the necessary diplomatic measures needed to secure the immediate release of Mr. Bruce Balfour, and to start dealing with the Lebanese Syrian installed regime, as an oppressive, occupational authority that does not represent its own people.

The CLHRF, on behalf of the Canadian-Lebanese Community members who share its values and aspirations hails and greatly appreciates Mr. Bruce Balfour's authentic help aiming to Lebanon's reforestation efforts. The CLHRF calls on the Lebanese authorities to apologize from Balfour and secure his immediate and unconditional release.

Spokesman for the CLHRF
Elias Bejjani