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March 16/1999

Press Release

The Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights Federation expresses its profound concern regarding the phenomenon of escalating arbitrary arrests waged lately by the Lebanese Security Forces against Lebanese advocates for righteous human, political and civil rights.

The arbitrary apprehension of tens of peaceful Lebanese citizens,  mainly University students for the mere act of distribution leaflets on March the 14th, 1999, is by no means a civilized practice. It is rather a blunt infringement on freedom of opinion and an unacceptable vehicle of muffling free peaceful voices, and a frank violation of basic human rights.

The CLHRF reminds the Lebanese official authorities, that because of the significant efforts of   Human Rights advocates, like Late Dr. Joseph Moghaizel, an important article of the Lebanese constitution was dedicated to honor terms from the international Declaration for Human Rights.
It is also worth mentioning that the late philosopher Dr. Charles  Malek played a crucial  role in putting together this historical declaration.

We remind the Lebanese officials of their latest pledge to preserve, protect and guarantee freedom of expression and respect for all basic human rights. Accordingly we call on them to honor the Lebanese constitution, International Declaration for Human Rights', other human rights conventions and most importantly their promises in this regard. We ask them to safeguard and protect the rights of all Lebanese citizens, especially those who advocate for freedoms and man's dignity.

We respectfully draw their attention to the fact that repression is not a wise mean to muffle free speech. Instead, they have an obligation to ensure free milieus for democratic dialogues and scientific means of persuasion. The reality is that infringements on human rights exposes only those officials who inflict them, and lies defames solely those who use them.

CLHRF Vice President
Engineer Hamid Aouad