Open Letter To French President Jacques Chirac

    Toronto 15 July 1998

    Mr. President
    On the occasion of the Syrian President’s visit to France, we wish to expressly draw your attention to the
     following fact:

  1. Hundreds of innocent Lebanese citizens from all religions and different political affiliations remain arbitrarily detained in the Syrian notorious jails and detention centers both in Lebanon and Syria without known charges, trials or even knowledge of their families in regards to their whereabouts. According to the Lebanese and international human rights organizations these detainees are exposed to extremely inhumane condition and deprived from proper medical and psychological care.
  2. The Syrian troops are occupying Lebanon in contrary to all international laws, United Nations resolutions, human rights charter, local and regional accords and most importantly against the will of the Lebanese people. These troops are devastating the country and its people on all levels and in all domains and sectors, especially labour manpower. One and a half million Syrian illegal individuals are competing with the impoverished and oppressed Lebanese people in every available kind of work.. Because of this imposed status most of the Lebanese people especially the young are forced to Leave country to look for jobs in other countries, including France, USA, Canada, Australia etc.
  3. Israel recently recognized the UN 425 Resolution for the first time in 20 years and asked the Lebanese regime to assume its security responsibilities in the Security Zone to make it possible for its troops to withdraw from the South Bekkah regions. The Syrian-controlled Lebanese government refused the offer although Israel did not ask for a peace treaty at this time. Mr. President keeping the Israelis in the South and the Syrians in the rest of Lebanon will not serve the peace process in the Middle East, and definitely will not help the people of Lebanon to regain their confiscated independence and oppressed freedoms.
  4. All human rights, even the basic one are infringed on by both the Lebanese regime and the Syrian troops who resort to inhumane, illegal Stalinist, police tactics to oppress and muffle those who call for sovereignty, independence, freedoms and withdrawal of all foreign troops. Numerous well-documented Human rights international organizations speak clearly about thousands of on going atrocities.
  5. The Hariri government in spite of all the deceptive media propaganda, and forged studies and reports is in fact dragging the country into an imminent financial catastrophe. According to highly specialized neutral resources the Lebanese national debt is expected to jump next year to $ 26 billion. Mr. President you are also aware that the Hariri government was appointed by Syria and is composed of warlords and Mafia men. This government as well as all Lebanon’s governments since 1990 were not chosen or elected by the Lebanese people and accordingly do not represent their hopes and aspirations.
  6. Mr. President, in general there is nothing right in occupied Lebanon currently, a disastrous Syrian-imposed status quo very similar to what France endured during the Nazi occupation era. Mr. President there is a popular Lebanese proverb that says "who knows better the pain than those who experienced it". The great people of France went through the bitterness of the Nazi occupation and definitely share with us the oppressed Lebanese people our pain, frustration and agony.

      Mr. President, on the behalf of all the patriotic people in occupied Lebanon and millions of Lebanese living in         Diaspora who share with the great people of France the same values of freedom, democracy, peace and
      respect for human rights we ask you to convince the Syrian President to:

  1. To authorize all Lebanese prisoners under the Syrian control to receive visits from their families and their lawyers and to receive adequate medical care.
  2. To guarantee the physical and psychological security of prisoners prohibiting the use of torture during interrogation and detention.
  3. To release immediately and without delay all persons against which no charges have been filed, and to swiftly bring to trial all detainees who have been charged, in accordance with international standards of judicial laws and in accordance to Charter of Human rights.
  4. To abide by the terms of the Taef Accord and withdraw his troops from Lebanon, leaving its peace loving people manage their own affairs in accordance to democracy and constitutional values.
  5. Recognize officially once and forever, the independence of the state of Lebanon and the significant Lebanese identity, culture, history and the unique Lebanese multi-cultural characteristics. The people of Lebanon want him to put an end for his on going scheme to annex Lebanon and exchange ambassadors between the two countries as all independent countries do with each other.
  6. To order the one and a half million Syrians illegally competing with the people of Lebanon on their bread to go back to Syria.

    Mr. President, France has always championed freedoms and democracy. We ask you and your government to      help the Lebanese people elect their own representatives without any intimidation or interference from
    non-Lebanese troops under the supervision of the United Nation and free world countries. We ask  you
    to help our people form a transitional Lebanese government in which all the Lebanese factions are represented      after the withdrawal of all foreign troops and all their proxies.

    Mr. President, the people of Lebanon are capable to handle their own affairs if left alone, help us to regain own       independence and freedom again and send the Syrians back to Syria and the Israelis to Israel.

    Long live France

    Long live Lebanon.


    Elias Bejjani

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