June 28, 2001
MS. Mary Robinson
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
RE: Letter to the UN Commission on Human Rights
To Investigate Mass Graves in Beirut after Syrian
Dear Ms. Robinson
I would like to draw your attention on the very strong possibility of existenceof mass
graves in the areas of Beirut and the Baabda district in Lebanon, which can now be
accessed by international investigators as a result of the partial Syrian military
redeployment which took place last week. As you know, the Syrian Army entered Lebanon in
June 1976 while battlingLebanese Muslim factions and Palestinian organizations. It made
several arrests then, and has executed a number of individuals. As of 1977, the Syriann
ccupation forces reverted to clash with Lebanese Christian forces and with Lebanese Army
units. The Syrian forces occupied large segments of Lebanon between 1976 and 1990. They
conducted arrests and executions.
In October 1990, the Syrian forces invaded an enclave including segments of Beirut, the
Matn and Baabda districts. According to several reports by Lebanese and non-Lebanese Human
rights Organizations and the families of the victims,hundred of Lebanese soldiers who have
surrendered to the Syrians as well as civilians and religious figures, were captured,
tortured and executed by thosef orces. Since 1990 it was impossible to local families and
Human Rights groups to search for the bodies. Reports providing from the Lebanese Human
Rights Organizations as well as from the families of the victims confirms that massgraves
exist in the suburbs of Beirut and the Baabda district in the vicinityof the areas
evacuated by the Syrian troops.
If such mass graves exist, and contains the remains of up to 400 bodies of Lebanese
nationals, this matter should engage the responsibility of theinternational community and
the United Nations.
We therefore urge you to delegate representatives to Lebanon to investigate theexistence
of mass graves as indicated in our letter. In addition to offeringour help and expertise,
we would recommend you contact the Lebanese HumanRights organizations working in the
field, particularly SOLID and SOLIDA.