THE CANADIAN- LEBANESE
HUMAN RIGHTS FEDERATION
505 GINGER DOWNS.
MISSISSAUGA, ONT. L5A 3A8
PHONE & FAX # (905) 272-9389
JULY 6, 1998
HIS EXCELLENCY MR. KOFI ANNAN
SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
C/o THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
NEW YORK, NY 10017
DEAR MR. SECRETARY:
THE CANADIAN- HUMAN RIGHTS FEDERATION is deeply concerned about the recent arrests of 15 LEBANESE CITIZENS accused of various crimes against the Lebanese Government and the Syrian forces deployed in Lebanon.
Our concerns are based upon the facts that:
1- A political campaign, orchestrated by the government of Lebanon, and all the allies of Syria,
Accompanied the actual arrest and still going on, this campaign condemns the arrested and
Links them directly to ISREAL before even setting a date for a fair trial.
Paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the ICCPR states that " everyone charged with a criminal
offense shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law."
The Human Rights Committee stated that by reason of the presumption of innocence, "the
Burden of proof of the charge is on the prosecution and the accused has the benefit of
2-Arrest and detention procedures in all these arrests were in violation of the articles of the Lebanese Code of Criminal Procedures (CCP) governing arrest and detention procedures. All of the arrests were made by army personnel, although according to Lebanese law military personnel have no jurisdiction over civilians
3-Based on information that the Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights Federation received, torture is being used in the ongoing interrogation, which violates Article 7 of the ICCPR and Article 401 of the Lebanese Penal Code that forbids torture and ill treatment. (Detainees have died before under interrogation due to severe torture, Fawzi al-Rasi died in custody on 22 April 1994).
Mr. Secretary, The Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights Federation hopes that The United Nations intervene as an impartial party with observers to insure:
Interrogations, free of torture and ill-treatment for all the detainees
- That accordance to Article 12 of the UN Declaration, any statement or confession obtained through torture or other prohibited treatment are not admissible in judicial proceedings.
- A free trial for all the detainees monitored by a UN representative to make sure trials are in accordance with international standards such as the ICCPR, and the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.
- That if other arrests occurred, all the persons arrested must be entitled to guarantees provided for by the Lebanese criminal justice system, and relevant international standards.
- Prompt access to lawyers, doctors and family members.
Mr. Secretary, a UN intervention could mean life or death, a free trial or no trial at all, for all those arrested or any other accused in present day Lebanon, where opposing Syria is a very serious act .The latest US State Department Report on Human Rights states: (The relationship with Syria does not reflect the will of significant segments of the Lebanese people) and on the issue of human rights (The human rights situation continued to deteriorate. Government abuses included the arrest and detention of individuals and groups opposed to government policies and the presence of Syrian forces.)
Due to the above reasons, The Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights Federation is pleading for your intervention so that you ensure, as you have done many times before, that the dignity of the Human Being is above all policies and that every Human Being is entitled to a fair trial whatever his crime is.
Finally Mr. Secretary, the Federation thanks you for all the attention you are giving Lebanon, past, present and future, and we hope, as you do that Lebanon will become once again the freedom paradise that once was, with your efforts and the effort of all his friends.
Chairman for the Federation Media Committee
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