Lahoud's Regime Infringes on Human Rights
By: Elias Bejjani
We have been bombarded lately by this question: Why do you oppose General Lahoud’s regime, although you know very well that Israel, the USA and Syria want the current status quo in Lebanon to remain as is? We are advised to abandon opposing stances because it’s believed that Washington has imposed General Lahoud in the presidency position against the Syrian will because he is qualified to liberate Lebanon without bloody confrontations with Syria.
Our simple response was, and still is the same: The regime does not respect the human rights of its people, and its decision making process is controlled by foreigners.
Our opposing stance stems from solid transparent patriotic convictions, and from unshakable believe in Human Rights and the right of our people to live with dignity and freedom. Mr. Lahoud has breached each and every one of them since the Syrian President appointed him in his new position, in a bizarre unique precedence.
Mr. Lahoud’s credibility as a president has been seriously questioned since his first day in office. He proved with no doubt to be Syria’s number one man in Lebanon through all decisions, stances and commitments he adopted to serve Syria’s interests.
Mr. Lahoud, in spite of the media aura surrounding him is just another Hrawi, no more, no less. He might have a different governing style from that of Hrawi due to his military background, but ultimately both men serve the same master and definitely function in the same milieu of collaboration and subservience. Lebanon’s people are not that na´ve, to be deceived by the way Lahoud is portrayed through the mercenary media. He is not the savior. He will not liberate Lebanon and will not create the state of law, justice or equality as false propaganda preaches. He just is a new Hrawi and continuity to the Taef regime. Mr. Lahoud’s credibility has been injured from day one in office, and here are examples delineating this fact:
Re-opening the case of the students who peacefully demonstrated last year in front of the MTV station in protest of banning the airing of an interview with General Michel Aoun.
Arresting more than fifty university students, lawyers and teachers for distributing a leaflet issued by the National Congress on the Internet. The leaflet contained an article by General Aoun addressing the infringements on Human Rights in Lebanon.
Blacking out Mr. Dorry Chamoun’s visit to Baabda Palace and banning any news in this regard in all media. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Chamoun changed his opposition stance lately and jumped on the Taef wagon, but apparently the regime and its regional sponsor have not accepted his repentance yet.
Not respecting his word in facilitating the return of Ex-president Sheik Amin Jomayal from exile after making a promise in this regard. Jomayel like Chamoun changed his long-term opposition stance and publicly supported Lahoud and joined the Taef regime. Jomayel as published by Beirut’s media spoke over the phone with Lahoud and arranged with him his return procedure. President Jomayel, to brag more about his close relationship with Lahoud, uncovered to the Middle East Newspaper a phone call he made secretly in 1989 to congratulate Lahoud for his Syrian appointment as Army Chief.
Charging arbitrarily Minister /Brigadier Issam Abu Jamra with slander for an article he published in Al-Hayat newspaper. Abou Jamra exposed in his courageous article, the reality of the fake presidential election and addressed the Syrian occupation to Lebanon.
Giving priority in all the new-old appointed Lahoud regime speeches, commitments and stances to subservient relations with Syrian and to the ongoing guerrilla war in south Lebanon sponsored by Syria and Iran. Also tying the fate of Occupied South Lebanon with that of Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.
Not lobbying for the hundreds of innocent Lebanese citizens detained arbitrarily in Syria’s notorious jails for political and religious reasons. The new-old regime is behaving as if these detainees are not Lebanese, although some of them are soldiers, priests and patriotic, well-known politicians. The regime is using double standards in its dealings with the detainee case. One side lobbies, finances and sponsors public and private campaigns to release the 150 Lebanese detained in South Lebanon and Israel, and on the other ignores completely the hundreds of detainees in Syria.
Keeping a blind eye to the implementation of the Taef Accord in regards to the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. This withdrawal should have happened seven years ago. The regime has ignored completely the unneeded presence of the Syrian army in Lebanon, although the Lebanese army at present is composed of 70 thousand men, well trained, reasonably equipped and more than capable to maintain security both, on the borders and inside the country.
Not giving the one million Lebanese citizens living in Diaspora the right to exchange their identity cards in the countries where they reside. These citizens like myself still maintain their Lebanese citizenship. We were forced to leave Lebanon during the last 17 years because of the barbaric war waged against our country by foreign powers. The Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation sent last year an open letter in this regard through the Lebanese Embassy in Ottawa, to both Ex-Prime Minister Raffic Hariri and Ex-Foreign Minister Faris Bouise, but with no response. It is worth mentioning that some newspapers in Lebanon and Diaspora published unconfirmed reports last year stating that those Lebanese who do not go personally to Lebanon to exchange their identity cards within ten years will lose their right in the Lebanese citizenship.
Lahoud's regime lost all its credibility when it allowed Syrians to open their own election polls on the Lebanese soil, and when General Lahoud himself declined from participating in King Hussein's funeral.
What credibility can the Lahoud regime enjoy when leaders like General Michel Aoun, Brigadier Issam Abu Jamra, Kamal Chatilla, Minister Edgar Maalouf, Ex-president Amin Jomayel, Reymod Edde, and hundreds of politicians and citizens are denied the right to return to their own country while the regime has no legal reasons to keep them in exile.
Lahoud’s regime credibility has to be gained through actual practices with respect to laws, regulations, the constitution and the Human Rights International Charter. The Lahoud regime credibility will never be honored or respected as long as the Syrian occupation forces impose hegemony on the country and its people.
Long Live Lebanon