Press Release From  the

November 5, 2002
Troubling news from Lebanon revealed that the Constitutional Council declared that the election of parliament member Gabriel ELMurr is unconstitutional. The Council then proceeded to appoint Mr. Ghassan Moukheiber to the post they just vacated by removing ElMurr.    

This recent turn of events is yet another step towards the Syrianization of the country of Lebanon, with the clear intent of changing it from a democratic nation to a dictatorship. Parliament member Gabriel ELMurr ran for election, as a member of the opposition, a growing movement, which rejects the economic policies of the present regime, which have brought the deficit to about 33 billion dollars. He mobilized the people of the Metn region to participate in the elections to show that the free people of Lebanon are against these policies and against occupation and the presence of non-Lebanese forces in Lebanon.  

The fact that Gabriel ElMurr won the elections in the Metn was a big set back for the puppet government. To show their displeasure with the results of the elections they shut down the Murr Television Station, MTV, the only Lebanese institution, which supports democracy and freedom of speech and brings to the people of Lebanon the voice of the true opposition.    

Not satisfied with the closure of the station, the Syrian-controlled government then proceeded to arrest and savagely beat all those who participated in a sit-in in support of the television station and of more than five hundred families whose main bread winners were now unemployed. It is worthy to mention that most of those beaten up or arrested were young students.  

Still not quite content with its accomplishments the regime has now resorted to this last step of stripping Mr. Gabriel ElMurr from his legally won parliamentary seat in the Metn region. This action is a clear signal to the people of Lebanon that they can no longer choose their own representatives; that choice will be made for them in the form of appointments by the puppet regime. 

The Council of Lebanese American Organizations, CLAO, has very serious concerns over the actions of the occupation regime in Lebanon. It continues to openly violate the constitutional rights of the people. This policy of silencing those who do not agree with them, while hiding behind the Syrian occupation forces, will not stop us from speaking up and defending the freedom, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.

 We call on our US administration and all human rights organizations to put an end to the oppression of the people of Lebanon. This can only by achieved when all occupying foreign forces withdraw from Lebanese territories, when legitimate representatives of the people of Lebanon are elected, and when the people of Lebanon regain their free will and their free decision making.  

The people of Lebanon cannot continue to live in fear. They cannot continue to live without dignity.