Canada to deport Lebanese
Israeli allies face imprisonment, torture, death, say activists
Posted: December 17, 2004
© 2004
Seven Lebanese are scheduled today for deportation from Canada into the hands of terrorists likely to imprison, torture or kill them, say activists working on their behalf.
They say Canada may be in violation of the 1984 International Convention Against Torture by deporting the seven veterans of the South Lebanon Army, formerly allies of Israel.
Two recent examples illustrate these international law violations by Canadian immigration authorities, say human rights activists Jerry Gordon and Brigitte Gabriel.
In the first example, an SLA vet had fled South Lebanon via Israel in 1992. He entered Canada and obtained his citizenship after more than 12 years of residency. He was arrested in July 2004 at the Beirut International Airport, detained and tortured in Lebanon. He went on a compassionate mission to visit his sick elderly parents living there. The SLA vet had a Canadian passport and a valid Lebanese visa.
In the second example, SLA vet Ibrahim el Khoury along with his wife Norma Ata and his two children Kamal and Elie (the infant being a Canadian citizen) were arrested on their arrival at Beirut International Airport Sept. 27, 2004. Ibrahim was imprisoned and tortured while the family was detained for a few days and harshly interrogated.
"Little time remains for effective action to save the SLA veterans from almost certain death at the hands of Hezbollah operations and militias now in control of Southern Lebanon," said Gordon and Brigitte in a prepared statement. "It is absurd that Canada, one of the world’s premier human rights advocates and sanctuaries would permit this travesty of justice to unfold."
They blame false allegations by Hezbollah terrorists and their allies in Canada.
"This bizarre violation of human rights is the result of false allegations by Hezbollah sympathizers and Amnesty International representatives in the province of Quebec led by an acknowledged Hezbollah sympathizer, photographer-journalist Ms. Josée Lambert," they charge. "Lambert had gone to Lebanon several times and had met privately on a number of occasions with the Hezbollah leader, Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah, as late at the summer of 2002, just before Canada was pressured to add Hezbollah to its terrorist watch list. Lambert and Amnesty's Quebec chapter accused the SLA vets of maltreatment verging on 'war crimes' in the operations of a detention facility in South Lebanon – al-Khiam in the former security zone. The detention facility was maintained by the Israel Defense Force and operated by the SLA. These accusations were the subject of a U.N. Commission on Human Rights report issued in April, 2000, and an Israel High Court decision handed down in 1999. Further, Red Cross reports from visits to al-Khiam have presented rebuttal information according to the former director of internal security of the al-Khiam detention facility, now a resident of the United States."
A recent U.N. implementation report showed South Lebanon was not under the lawful control of the central Lebanese government, but controlled by Hezbollah and other Islamist militias. Canadian SLA vets deported to Lebanon, if they are not intercepted by authorities at Beirut airport, risk their lives as South Lebanon, their original home, is under Hezbollah control, say Gordon and Gabriel.
In December 2002, Canada's then-Liberal government Foreign Minister Bill Graham under pressure from opposition Alliance leader Stockwell Day and Canadian Jewish groups, including B’nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress, formally listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization on Canada's watch list.