Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC)
E.mail lccc@10452lccc.com


Lebanese Detainees in Syrian jails

Press Release
We would like to draw your attention to an urgent press release issued by SOLIDE on 17/7/2001, addressing the on going dilemma of more then 200 Lebanese citizens still detained unlawfully in the Nazi-like Syrian jails. The following are the main issues the release addressed:
Mr. Nizar Nayyouf,  is a Syrian Journalist and Human Rights' advocate. He was recently released from Syrian jails after nine years of arbitrary detention. During a press conference he held in Paris- France on 16/7/2001, (hosted by "Journalists Without Frontiers), Mr. Nayyouf, announced that hundreds of Lebanese citizens are still arbitrarily detained in the notorious Syrian jails. The AFP, reporter Henry Muhamer Bashi, who covered the press conference distributed a report in which he twisted what Mr. Nayyouf had stated. The faked AFP report attributed falsely to Mr. Nayyouf as saying: "There are no more Lebanese prisoners in Syria, they were all killed". This vicious report serves the Syrian regime's attempts to blackout on this human dilemma that has been going on for the last 20 years.  Mr. Nayyouf's press conference was tapped and aired by the Vatican broadcasting station.

In response to a question by the Kuwaiti News about the authenticity of the Syria president's claim that there are no more Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails, Mr. Nayyouf said: " Mr. Bashar Assad's (Syrian President) statement is not accurate. He might not be aware that hundreds of Lebanese detainees are still held in Syrian jails, besides those that were murdered and buried in mass graves. I have personally checked these graves before the Syrian authorities arrested and jailed me. I saw the bodies that were mutilated with bullets and bombs. The Syrian authorities have recently ordered the transfer of this graves to distant areas. I still remember Toni Tamer, a Lebanese detainee from the Lebanese city of Entelias".

SOLIDE stressed the fact that all those concerned know very well that the official Syrian statements in regards to the Lebanese detainees in the Syrian jails are not not accurate or sufficient. These facts were delineated by the United Nations Human Rights Committee final report issued  in New  York on April 6/2001.

The LCCC urges you to take the proper measurement against tyrants like the ones in Syria. Such matters should not go unnoticed for the sake of innocent people world wide. All remaining Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails are given different names. They are told specifically to forget their Lebanese name, or go back into the torture chamber again.

All vicious attempts aiming to camouflage and fake facts have been unveiled. The case of the Lebanese detainees held arbitrarily in Syrian jails is genuine and just. Accordingly no power in the world will be able to make the detainees' families give up on their beloved ones. We call on both the Beirut and Damascus authorities to seriously address this dilemma and to come out with the truth for all families involved with this matter. It is our hope that the truth to be told regardless.

Yours truly,
George Khoury
LCCC Foreign Affairs Chairman.